Vol. 14, No. 7, 2021

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Threshold dynamics for corotational wave maps

Casey Rodriguez

Vol. 14 (2021), No. 7, 2123–2161

We study the dynamics of corotational wave maps from 1+2 𝕊2 at threshold energy. It is known that topologically trivial wave maps with energy < 8π are global and scatter to a constant map. We prove that a corotational wave map with energy equal to 8π is globally defined and scatters in one time direction, and in the other time direction, either the map is globally defined and scatters, or the map breaks down in finite time and converges to a superposition of two harmonic maps. The latter behavior stands in stark contrast to higher equivariant wave maps with threshold energy, which have been proven to be globally defined for all time. Using techniques developed in this paper, we also construct a corotational wave map with energy = 8π which blows up in finite time. The blow-up solution we construct provides the first example of a minimal topologically trivial nondispersing solution to the full wave map evolution.

wave maps, harmonic maps, bubbling, blow-up, classification
Mathematical Subject Classification 2010
Primary: 35L05, 35L71
Received: 25 June 2019
Revised: 20 February 2020
Accepted: 6 May 2020
Published: 10 November 2021
Casey Rodriguez
Department of Mathematics
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA
United States