January & February  2009, 23(1&2): 561-569. doi: 10.3934/dcds.2009.23.561

Systems of coupled diffusion equations with degenerate nonlinear source terms: Linear stability and traveling waves

1. 

Department of Mathematics, City University of Hong Kong, 83 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong, China

2. 

Department of Mathematics and Statistics, York University, 4700 Keele Street, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3

3. 

Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, University Heights, Newark, NJ 07102, United States

Received  December 2007 Revised  April 2008 Published  September 2008

Diffusion equations with degenerate nonlinear source terms arise in many different applications, e.g., in the theory of epidemics, in models of cortical spreading depression, and in models of evaporation and condensation in porous media. In this paper, we consider a generalization of these models to a system of $n$ coupled diffusion equations with identical nonlinear source terms. We determine simple conditions that ensure the linear stability of uniform rest states and show that traveling wave trajectories connecting two stable rest states can exist generically only for discrete wave speeds. Furthermore, we show that families of traveling waves with a continuum of wave speeds cannot exist.
Citation: Jonathan J. Wylie, Robert M. Miura, Huaxiong Huang. Systems of coupled diffusion equations with degenerate nonlinear source terms: Linear stability and traveling waves. Discrete & Continuous Dynamical Systems - A, 2009, 23 (1&2) : 561-569. doi: 10.3934/dcds.2009.23.561
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