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This is an expository paper whose goal is to provide a detailed survey without the full technicalities of the methods used recently in [GMWZ1, GMWZ2] to prove the existence of curved multi-D viscous shocks, to rigorously justify the small viscosity limit, and to prove long time stability of multidimensional planar viscous shocks.
Using a weighted $H^s$-contraction mapping argument based on the macro-micro decomposition of Liu and Yu, we give an elementary proof of existence, with sharp rates of decay and distance from the Chapman-Enskog approximation, of small-amplitude shock profiles of the Boltzmann equation with hard-sphere potential, recovering and slightly sharpening results obtained by Caflisch and Nicolaenko using different techniques. A key technical point in both analyses is that the linearized collision operator $L$ is negative definite on its range, not only in the standard square-root Maxwellian weighted norm for which it is self-adjoint, but also in norms with nearby weights. Exploring this issue further, we show that $L$ is negative definite on its range in a much wider class of norms including norms with weights asymptotic nearly to a full Maxwellian rather than its square root. This yields sharp localization in velocity at near-Maxwellian rate, rather than the square-root rate obtained in previous analyses.
In this paper we prove the continuity of stable subspaces associated to parabolic-hyperbolic boundary value problems, for limiting values of parameters. The analysis is based on the construction performed in [MZ] of Kreiss' type symmetrizers.
In recent work, the second author and various collaborators have shown using Evans function/refined semigroup techniques that, under very general circumstances, the problems of determining one- or multi-dimensional nonlinear stability of a smooth shock profile may be reduced to that of determining spectral stability of the corresponding linearized operator about the wave. It is expected that this condition should in general be analytically verifiable in the case of small amplitude profiles, but this has so far been shown only on a case-by-case basis using clever (and difficult to generalize) energy estimates. Here, we describe how the same set of Evans function tools that were used to accomplish the original reduction can be used to show also small-amplitude spectral stability by a direct and readily generalizable procedure. This approach both recovers the results obtained by energy methods, and yields new results not previously obtainable. In particular, we establish one-dimensional stability of small amplitude relaxation profiles, completing the Evans function program set out in Mascia&Zumbrun [MZ.1]. Multidimensional stability of small amplitude viscous profiles will be addressed in a companion paper [PZ], completing the program of Zumbrun [Z.3].
It is well known that the stability of certain distinguished waves arising in evolutionary PDE can be determined by the spectrum of the linear operator found by linearizing the PDE about the wave. Indeed, work over the last fifteen years has shown that spectral stability implies nonlinear stability in a broad range of cases, including asymptotically constant traveling waves in both reaction--diffusion equations and viscous conservation laws. A critical step toward analyzing the spectrum of such operators was taken in the late eighties by Alexander, Gardner, and Jones, whose Evans function (generalizing earlier work of John W. Evans) serves as a characteristic function for the above-mentioned operators. Thus far, results obtained through working with the Evans function have made critical use of the function's analyticity at the origin (or its analyticity over an appropriate Riemann surface). In the case of degenerate (or sonic) viscous shock waves, however, the Evans function is certainly not analytic in a neighborhood of the origin, and does not appear to admit analytic extension to a Riemann manifold. We surmount this obstacle by dividing the Evans function (plus related objects) into two pieces: one analytic in a neighborhood of the origin, and one sufficiently small.
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