Free boundary regularity for the obstacle problem

Speaker: Alessio Figalli

Date: Thu, Mar 23, 2023

Location: Zoom, Online

Conference: PIMS Network Wide Colloquium

Subject: Mathematics

Class: Scientific


The classical obstacle problem consists of finding the equilibrium position of an elastic membrane whose boundary is held fixed and which is constrained to lie above a given obstacle. By classical results of Caffarelli, the free boundary is smooth outside a set of singular points. However, explicit examples show that the singular set could be, in general, as large as the regular set. This talk aims to introduce this beautiful problem and describe some classical and recent results on the regularity of the free boundary.

Speaker Biography: Alessio Figalli is a leading figure in the areas of Optimal Transport, partial differential equations and the calculus of variations. He received his Ph.D. from the Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and the Ecole Normale Superieur de Lyon and has held positions in Paris and Austin, Texas. He is currently a Professor at ETH Zurich. His work has been recognized with many awards including the Prize of the European Mathematical Society in 2012 and the Fields Medal in 2018.