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Maximal flows of non-smooth vector fields and applications to PDEs

  • Maria Colombo (SNS Pisa)
A3 01 (Sophus-Lie room)

Abstract

The classical Cauchy-Lipschitz theorem shows existence and uniqueness of the flow of any sufficiently smooth vector field in R^d. In 1989, Di Perna and Lions proved that Sobolev regularity for vector fields, with bounded divergence and a growth assumption, is sufficient to establish existence, uniqueness and stability of a generalized notion of flow, consisting of a suitable selection among the trajectories of the associated ODE. Their theory relies on a growth assumption on the vector field which prevents the trajectories from blowing up in finite time; in particular, it does not apply to fast-growing, smooth vector fields.

In this seminar we give an overview of the topic and we introduce a notion of maximal flow for non-smooth vector fields which allows for finite-time blow up of the trajectories. We show existence and uniqueness under only local assumptions on the vector field and we apply the result to a kinetic equation, the Vlasov-Poisson system, where we describe the solutions as transported by a suitable flow in the phase space. This allows, in turn, to prove existence of weak solutions for general initial data.

Katja Heid

MPI for Mathematics in the Sciences Contact via Mail

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