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Nonlinear instability of solutions in parabolic and hyperbolic diffusion

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  • We consider semilinear evolution equations of the form $a(t)\partial_{tt}u + b(t) \partial_t u + Lu = f(x,u)$ and $b(t) \partial_t u + Lu = f(x,u),$ with possibly unbounded $a(t)$ and possibly sign-changing damping coefficient $b(t)$, and determine precise conditions for which linear instability of the steady state solutions implies nonlinear instability. More specifically, we prove that linear instability with an eigenfunction of fixed sign gives rise to nonlinear instability by either exponential growth or finite-time blow-up. We then discuss a few examples to which our main theorem is immediately applicable, including evolution equations with supercritical and exponential nonlinearities.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 35B35, 35B05, 35B30; Secondary: 35L70, 35K55.


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