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Some new results concerning general weighted regular Sturm-Liouville problems
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8898-4547
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this PhD thesis we study some weighted regular Sturm-Liouville problems in which the weight function takes on both positive and negative signs in an appropriate interval [a,b]. With such  problems there is the possible existence of non-real eigenvalues, unlike in the definite case (i.e. left or right definite) in which only real eigenvalues exist.

This PhD thesis consists of five papers (papers A-E) and an introduction to this area, which puts these papers into a more general frame.

In paper A we give some precise estimates on the Richardson number for the two turning point case, thereby complementing the work of Jabon and Atkinson from 1984 in an essential way. We also give a corrected version of their result since there seems to be a typographical error in their paper.

In paper B we show that the interlacing property, which holds in the one turning point case, does not hold in the two turning point case. The paper consists of a detailed presentation of numerical results of the case in which the weight function is allowed to change its sign twice in the interval (-1, 2). We also present some theoretical results which support the numerical results. Moreover, a number of new open questions are raised. We also observe that the real and imaginary parts of a non-real eigenfunction either have the same number of zeros in the interval (-1,2) or the numbers of zeros differ by two.

In paper C, we obtain bounds on real and imaginary parts of non-real eigenvalues of a non-definite Sturm-Liouville problem, with Dirichlet boundary conditions, thus complementing the results obtained in a paper byBehrndt from 2013 in an essential way.

In paper D we obtain a lower bound on the eigenvalue of the smallest modulus associated with a Dirichlet problem in the general case of a regular Sturm-Liouville problem.

In paper E we expand upon the basic oscillation theory for general boundary problems of the form   -y''+q(x)y=λw(x)y,  on  I = [a,b], where  q(x) and w(x) are real-valued continuous functions on [a,b] and y is required to satisfy a pair of homogeneous separated boundary conditions at the end-points. Already in 1918 Richardson proved that, in the case of the Dirichlet problem,  if w(x) changes its sign exactly once and the boundary problem is  non-definite, then the zeros of the real and imaginary parts of any non-real eigenfunction interlace. We show that, unfortunately, this result is false in the case of two turning points, thus removing any hope for a general separation theorem for the zeros of the non-real eigenfunctions. Furthermore, we show that when a non-real eigenfunction vanishes inside I, then the absolute value of the difference between the total number of zeros of its real and imaginary parts is exactly 2.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2016.
Keyword [en]
Partial differential equations, Sturm-Liouville problem, Right-definite, left-definite, non-definite, indefinite, Dirichlet problem, spectrum, eigenvalues, non-real eigenvalues, Richardson number, Richardson index, turning point
National Category
Natural Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-59613ISBN: 978-91-7583-711-6 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-712-3 (electronic)OAI: diva2:1033939
Public defence
2016-12-13, E 246, Luleå University of Technology, E Building, Luleå, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2016-10-12 Created: 2016-10-10 Last updated: 2016-11-16Bibliographically approved

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