01111nas a2200121 4500008004300000245007200043210006900115520069700184100002200881700002500903700002500928856003600953 2008 en_Ud 00aA second order minimality condition for the Mumford-Shah functional0 asecond order minimality condition for the MumfordShah functional3 aA new necessary minimality condition for the Mumford-Shah functional is derived by means of second order variations. It is expressed in terms of a sign condition for a nonlocal quadratic form on $H^1_0(\\\\Gamma)$, $\\\\Gamma$ being a submanifold of the regular part of the discontinuity set of the critical point. Two equivalent formulations are provided: one in terms of the first eigenvalue of a suitable compact operator, the other involving a sort of nonlocal capacity of $\\\\Gamma$. A sufficient condition for minimality is also deduced. Finally, an explicit example is discussed, where a complete characterization of the domains where the second variation is nonnegative can be given.1 aCagnetti, Filippo1 aMora, Maria Giovanna1 aMorini, Massimiliano uhttp://hdl.handle.net/1963/1955