Singular diffusivity facets, shocks and more
Preprint Series # 604 Giga, Yoshikazu Singular diffusivity facets, shocks and more. (2003); AbstractThere is a class of nonlinear evolution equations with singular diffusivity, so that diffusion effect is nonlocal. A simplest onedimensional example is a diffusion equation of the form u_t = \delta(u_x)u_{xx} for u = u(x; t), where \delta denotes Dirac s delta function. This lecture is intended to provide an overview of analytic aspects of such equations, as well as various applications. Equations with singular diffusivity are applied to describe several phenomena in the applied sciences, and to provide several devices in technology, especially image processing. A typical example is a gradient flow of the total variation of a function, which arises in image processing, as well as in material science to describe the motion of grain boundaries. In the theory of crystal growth the motion of a crystal surface is often described by an anisotropic curvature flow equation with a driving force term. At low temperature the equation includes a singular diffusivity, since the interfacial energy is not smooth. Another example is a crystalline algorithm to calculate curvature flow equations in the plane numerically, which is formally written as an equation with singular diffusivity. Because of singular diffusivity, the notion of solution is not a priori clear, even for the above onedimensional example. It turns out that there are two systematic approaches. One is variational, and applies to divergence type equations. However, there are many equations like curvature flow equations which are not exactly of divergence type. Fortunately, our approach based on comparision principles turns out to be succesful in several interesting problems. It also asserts that a solution can be considered as a limit of solution of an approximate equation. Since the equation has a strong diffusivity at a particular slope of a solution, a flat portion with this slope is formed. In crystal growth ploblems this flat portion is called a facet. The discontinuity of a solution (called a shock) for a scalar conservation law is also considered as a result of singular diffusivity in the vertical direction.
