Preface Outline 1. Introduction Part I: The Symmetric Bistable Equation 2. Real Eigenvalues 3. Estimates 4. Periodic Solutions 5. Kinks and Pulses 6. Chaotic Solutions 7. Variational Problems Part II: Related Equations 8. The Asymmetric Double-Well Potential 9. The Swift--Hohenberg Equation 10. Waves in Nonlinearly Supported Beams References Index
The study of spatial patterns in extended systems, and their evolution with time, poses challenging questions for physicists and mathematicians alike. Waves on water, pulses in optical fibers, periodic structures in alloys, folds in rock formations, and cloud patterns in the sky: patterns are omnipresent in the world around us. Their variety and complexity make them a rich area of study. In the study of these phenomena an important role is played by well-chosen model equations, which are often simpler than the full equations describing the physical or biological system, but still capture its essential features. Through a thorough analysis of these model equations one hopes to glean a better under standing of the underlying mechanisms that are responsible for the formation and evolution of complex patterns. Classical model equations have typically been second-order partial differential equations. As an example we mention the widely studied Fisher-Kolmogorov or Allen-Cahn equation, originally proposed in 1937 as a model for the interaction of dispersal and fitness in biological populations. As another example we mention the Burgers equation, proposed in 1939 to study the interaction of diffusion and nonlinear convection in an attempt to understand the phenomenon of turbulence. Both of these are nonlinear second-order diffusion equations.
A study of nonlinear higher order model equations central to the description and analysis of spatio-temporal pattern formation in the natural sciences. Unique combination of results obtained by rigorous mathematical analysis and computational studies. Text exhibits the principal families of solutions--kinks, pulses and periodic solutions, and their dependence on critical eigenvalue parameters. Exposition first focuses on a single equation to achieve optimal transparency, then branches out to wider classes of equations. Includes many exercises, open problems, recent original results, and applications to mathematical physics and mechanics. Intended for mathematicians, mathematical physicists, and graduate students.