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Stability and dynamics of self-similarity in evolution equations. (English) Zbl 1194.35091
Summary: A methodology for studying the linear stability of self-similar solutions is discussed. These fundamental ideas are illustrated on three prototype problems: a simple ODE with finite-time blow-up, a second-order semilinear heat equation with infinite-time spreading solutions, and the fourth-order Sivashinsky equation with finite-time self-similar blow-up. These examples are used to show that self-similar dynamics can be studied using many of the ideas arising in the study of dynamical systems. In particular, the use of dimensional analysis to derive scaling invariant similarity variables is discussed, as well as the role of symmetries in the context of stability of self-similar dynamics. The spectrum of the linear stability problem determines the rate at which the solution will approach a self-similar profile. For blow-up solutions it is demonstrated that the symmetries give rise to positive eigenvalues associated with the symmetries, and it is shown how this stability analysis can identify a unique stable (and observable) attracting solution from a countable infinity of similarity solutions.

MSC:
35C06 Self-similar solutions to PDEs
35A30 Geometric theory, characteristics, transformations in context of PDEs
35B44 Blow-up in context of PDEs
35B35 Stability in context of PDEs
35B06 Symmetries, invariants, etc. in context of PDEs
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