Two-dimensional ferronematics, canonical harmonic maps and minimal connections

Canevari, Giacomo and Majumdar, Apala and Stroffolini, Bianca and Wang, Yiwei (2023) Two-dimensional ferronematics, canonical harmonic maps and minimal connections. Preprint / Working Paper. arXiv, Ithaca, NY. (In Press) (

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We study a variational model for ferronematics in two-dimensional domains, in the "super-dilute" regime. The free energy functional consists of a reduced Landau-de Gennes energy for the nematic order parameter, a Ginzburg-Landau type energy for the spontaneous magnetisation, and a coupling term that favours the co-alignment of the nematic director and the magnetisation. In a suitable asymptotic regime, we prove that the nematic order parameter converges to a canonical harmonic map with non-orientable point defects, while the magnetisation converges to a singular vector field, with line defects that connect the non-orientable point defects in pairs, along a minimal connection.