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Regularity of extremal solutions in fourth order nonlinear eigenvalue problems on general domains

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  • We examine the regularity of the extremal solution of the nonlinear eigenvalue problem $\Delta^2 u = \lambda f(u)$ on a general bounded domain $\Omega$ in $ \R^N$, with the Navier boundary condition $ u=\Delta u =0 $ on δΩ. We establish energy estimates which show that for any non-decreasing convex and superlinear nonlinearity $f$ with $f(0)=1$, the extremal solution u * is smooth provided $N\leq 5$. If in addition $\lim$i$nf_{t \to +\infty}\frac{f (t)f'' (t)}{(f')^2(t)}>0$, then u * is regular for $N\leq 7$, while if $\gamma$:$= \lim$s$up_{t \to +\infty}\frac{f (t)f'' (t)}{(f')^2(t)}<+\infty$, then the same holds for $N < \frac{8}{\gamma}$. It follows that u * is smooth if $f(t) = e^t$ and $ N \le 8$, or if $f(t) = (1+t)^p$ and $N< \frac{8p}{p-1}$. We also show that if $ f(t) = (1-t)^{-p}$, $p>1$ and $p\ne 3$, then u * is smooth for $N \leq \frac{8p}{p+1}$. While these results are major improvements on what is known for general domains, they still fall short of the expected optimal results as recently established on radial domains, e.g., u * is smooth for $ N \le 12$ when $ f(t) = e^t$ [11], and for $ N \le 8$ when $ f(t) = (1-t)^{-2}$ [9] (see also [22]).
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 58E30, 58J05, 35J35; Secondary: 34B15.


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