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I. Singular perturbation problems involving singular points and turning points. II. On the averaged Lagrangian technique for nonlinear dispersive waves


Delaney, Michael Ernest (1970) I. Singular perturbation problems involving singular points and turning points. II. On the averaged Lagrangian technique for nonlinear dispersive waves. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology.


In Part I a class of linear boundary value problems is considered which is a simple model of boundary layer theory. The effect of zeros and singularities of the coefficients of the equations at the point where the boundary layer occurs is considered. The usual boundary layer techniques are still applicable in some cases and are used to derive uniform asymptotic expansions. In other cases it is shown that the inner and outer expansions do not overlap due to the presence of a turning point outside the boundary layer. The region near the turning point is described by a two-variable expansion. In these cases a related initial value problem is solved and then used to show formally that for the boundary value problem either a solution exists, except for a discrete set of eigenvalues, whose asymptotic behaviour is found, or the solution is non-unique. A proof is given of the validity of the two-variable expansion; in a special case this proof also demonstrates the validity of the inner and outer expansions.

Nonlinear dispersive wave equations which are governed by variational principles are considered in Part II. It is shown that the averaged Lagrangian variational principle is in fact exact. This result is used to construct perturbation schemes to enable higher order terms in the equations for the slowly varying quantities to be calculated. A simple scheme applicable to linear or near-linear equations is first derived. The specific form of the first order correction terms is derived for several examples. The stability of constant solutions to these equations is considered and it is shown that the correction terms lead to the instability cut-off found by Benjamin. A general stability criterion is given which explicitly demonstrates the conditions under which this cut-off occurs. The corrected set of equations are nonlinear dispersive equations and their stationary solutions are investigated. A more sophisticated scheme is developed for fully nonlinear equations by using an extension of the Hamiltonian formalism recently introduced by Whitham. Finally the averaged Lagrangian technique is extended to treat slowly varying multiply-periodic solutions. The adiabatic invariants for a separable mechanical system are derived by this method.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Applied Mathematics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Mathematics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Whitham, Gerald Beresford
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1971
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04032013-100253267
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7576
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:03 Apr 2013 17:17
Last Modified:14 May 2014 15:50

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