Relaxation times for atom dislocations in crystals

S. Patrizi, E. Valdinoci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


We study the relaxation times for a parabolic differential equation whose solution represents the atom dislocation in a crystal. The equation that we consider comprises the classical Peierls–Nabarro model as a particular case, and it allows also long range interactions. It is known that the dislocation function of such a model has the tendency to concentrate at single points, which evolve in time according to the external stress and a singular, long range potential. Depending on the orientation of the dislocation function at these points, the potential may be either attractive or repulsive, hence collisions may occur in the latter case and, at the collision time, the dislocation function does not disappear. The goal of this paper is to provide accurate estimates on the relaxation times of the system after collision. More precisely, we take into account the case of two and three colliding points, and we show that, after a small transition time subsequent to the collision, the dislocation function relaxes exponentially fast to a steady state. In this sense, the system exhibits two different decay behaviors, namely an exponential time decay versus a polynomial decay in the space variables (and these two homogeneities are kept separate during the time evolution).
Original languageEnglish
Article number71
JournalCalculus of Variations and Partial Differential Equations
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


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