Sphere-valued harmonic maps with surface energy and the K13 problem
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We consider an energy functional motivated by the celebrated K13 problem in the Oseen-Frank theory of nematic liquid crystals. It is defined for sphere-valued functions and appears as the usual Dirichlet energy with an additional surface term. It is known that this energy is unbounded from below and our aim has been to study the local minimizers. We show that even having a critical point in a suitable energy space imposes severe restrictions on the boundary conditions. Having suitable boundary conditions makes the energy functional bounded and in this case we study the partial regularity of the minimizers.