The problem of existence of knot-like solitons as the energy-minimizing configurations in the Faddeev model, topologically characterized by Hopf invariant, Q, is considered. It is proved that, in the full space situation, there exists an infinite set S of integers so that for any m ∈ S, the Faddeev energy, E, has a minimizer among the class Q = m; in the bounded domain situation, the same existence theorem holds when S is the set of all integers. One of the important technical results is that E and Q satisfy the sublinear inequality E ≤ C|Q|3/4, where C > 0 is a universal constant, which explains why knotted (clustered soliton) configurations are preferred over widely separated unknotted (multisoliton) configurations when |Q| is sufficiently large.
- Hopf invariant
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