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Title: Nonlinear partial differential equations on fractals
Author: Hu, Jiaxin
Awarding Body: University of St Andrews
Current Institution: University of St Andrews
Date of Award: 2001
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The study of nonlinear partial differential equations on fractals is a burgeoning inter-disciplinary topic, allowing dynamic properties on fractals to be investigated. In this thesis we will investigate nonlinear PDEs of three basic types on bounded and unbounded fractals. We first review the definition of post-critically finite (p.c.f.) self-similar fractals with regular harmonic structure. A Dirichlet form exists on such a fractal; thus we may define a weak version of the Laplacian. The Sobolev-type inequality, established on p.c.f. self-similar fractals satisfying the separation condition, plays a crucial role in the analysis of PDEs on p.c.f. self-similar fractals. We use the classical approach to study the linear eigenvalue problem on p.c.f. self-similar fractals, which depends on the Sobolev-type inequality. Fundamental solutions such as Green's function, wave propagator and heat kernel are then explicitly expressed in terms of eigenvalues and eigenfunctions. The main aim of the thesis is to study nonlinear PDEs on fractals. We begin with nonlinear elliptic equations on p.c.f. self-similar fractals. We prove the existence of non-trivial solutions to elliptic equations with zero Dirichlet boundary conditions using the mountain pass theorem and the saddle point theorem. For nonlinear wave equations on p.c.f. self-similar fractals, we show the existence of global solutions for appropriate initial and boundary data. We also examine blow up at finite time which may occur for certain initial data. Finally, we consider nonlinear diffusion equations on p.c.f. self-similar fractals and unbounded fractals. Using the upper-lower solution technique, we prove the global existence of solutions of the nonlinear diffusion equation with initial value and boundary conditions on p.c.f. self-similar fractals. For unbounded fractals, starting with a heat kernel satisfying certain assumptions, we prove that the diffusion equation with a nonlinear term of the form up possesses a global solution if the initial data is small and p > 1 + ds/2, while solutions blow up if p ≤ 1 + ds/2 even for small initial data, where dg is the spectral dimension of the fractal. We investigate smoothness and Holder continuity of solutions when they exist.
Supervisor: Falconer, Kenneth John Sponsor: University of St Andrews ; ORS
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: QA614.86H9