Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mathematical Sciences


Irene Fonseca

Second Advisor

M. Luisa Mascarenhas

Third Advisor

Ana Barroso

Fourth Advisor

Diogo Gomes

Fifth Advisor

David Kinderlehrer


In this dissertation we will address two types of homogenization problems. The first one is a spectral problem in the realm of lower dimensional theories, whose physical motivation is the study of waves propagation in a domain of very small thickness and where it is introduced a very thin net of heterogeneities. Precisely, we consider an elliptic operator with "ε-periodic coefficients and the corresponding Dirichlet spectral problem in a three-dimensional bounded domain of small thickness δ. We study the asymptotic behavior of the spectrum as ε and δ tend to zero. This asymptotic behavior depends crucially on whether ε and δ are of the same order (δ ≈ ε), or ε is of order smaller than that of δ (δ = ετ , τ < 1), or ε is of order greater than that of δ (δ = ετ , τ > 1). We consider all three cases.

The second problem concerns the study of multiscale homogenization problems with linear growth, aimed at the identification of effective energies for composite materials in the presence of fracture or cracks. Precisely, we characterize (n+1)-scale limit pairs (u,U) of sequences {(uεLN⌊Ω,Duε⌊Ω)}ε>0 ⊂ M(Ω;ℝd) × M(Ω;ℝd×N) whenever {uε}ε>0 is a bounded sequence in BV (Ω;ℝd). Using this characterization, we study the asymptotic behavior of periodically oscillating functionals with linear growth, defined in the space BV of functions of bounded variation and described by n ∈ ℕ microscales