In this paper we consider two generalizations of the Skyrme model. One is a variational problem for maps from a compact 3-manifold to a compact Lie group. The other is a variational problem for flat connections. We describe the path components of the configuration spaces of smooth fields for each of the variational problems. We prove that the invariants separating the path components are well-defined for (not necessarily smooth) fields with finite Skyrme energy. We prove that for every possible value of these invariants there exists a minimizer of the Skyrme functional. Throughout the paper we emphasize the importance of holonomy in the Skyrme model. Some of the results may be useful in other contexts. In particular, we define the holonomy of a distributionally flat Lloc2 connection; the local developing maps for such connections need not be continuous.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Mathematical Physics