A simultaneous variational principle for elementary excitations of fluid lipid membranes.
A simultaneous variational principle is introduced that offers a novel avenue to the description of the equilibrium configurations, and at the same time of the elementary excitations, or undulations, of fluid lipid membranes, described by a geometric continuum free energy. The simultaneous free energy depends on the shape functions through the membrane stress tensor, and on an additional deformation spatial vector. Extremization of this free energy produces at once the Euler-Lagrange equations and the Jacobi equations, that describe elementary excitations, for the geometric free energy. As an added benefit, the energy of the elementary excitations, given by the second variation of the geometric free energy, is obtained without second variations. Although applied to the specific case of lipid membranes, this variational principle should be useful in any physical system where bending modes are dominant.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1801.02985
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