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# Electronic Journal of Qualitative Theory of Differential Equations

2010, No. 43, 1-10; http://www.math.u-szeged.hu/ejqtde/

OSCILLATION OF THIRD-ORDER FUNCTIONAL
DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS

B. BACULÍKOVÁ AND J. DŽURINA

Abstract. The aim of this paper is to study oscillatory and asymptotic prop-
erties of the third-order nonlinear delay differential equation
ˆ ˆ ˜γ ˜′
(E) a(t) x′′ (t) + q(t)f (x [τ (t)]) = 0.
Applying suitable comparison theorems we present new criteria for oscillation
or certain asymptotic behavior of nonoscillatory solutions of (E). Obtained
results essentially improve and complement earlier ones. Various examples are
considered to illustrate the main results.

1. Introduction
We are concerned with oscillatory behavior of the third-order functional differ-
ential equations of the form
  γ ′
(E) a(t) x′′ (t) + q(t)f (x [τ (t)]) = 0
In the sequel we will assume that the following conditions are always satisfied
throughout this paper:
(H1) a(t), q(t) ∈ C([t0 , ∞)), a(t), q(t) are positive, τ (t) ∈ C([t0 , ∞)), τ (t) ≤ t,
lim τ (t) = ∞,
t→∞

R
(H2) a−1/γ (s) ds < ∞,
t0
(H3) γ is a quotient of odd positive integers,
(H4) f (x) ∈ C(−∞, ∞), xf (x) > 0, f ′ (x) ≥ 0 for x 6= 0 and −f (−xy) ≥
f (xy) ≥ f (x)f (y) for xy > 0.

By a solution of Eq.(E) we mean a function x(t) ∈ C 2 [Tx , ∞), Tx ≥ t0 , which
has the property a(t)(x′′ (t))γ ∈ C 1 [Tx , ∞) and satisfies Eq. (E) on [Tx , ∞). We
consider only those solutions x(t) of (E) which satisfy sup{|x(t)| : t ≥ T } > 0
for all T ≥ Tx . We assume that (E) possesses such a solution. A solution of
(E) is called oscillatory if it has arbitrarily large zeros on [Tx , ∞) and otherwise
it is called to be nonoscillatory. Equation (E) is said to be oscillatory if all its
solutions are oscillatory.
Following Tanaka [23] we say that a nontrivial solution x(t) of (E) is strongly
decreasing if it satisfies
(1.1) x(t)x′ (t) < 0

1991 Mathematics Subject Classification. 34C10, 34K11.
Key words and phrases. Third-order functional differential equations, oscillation, nonoscilla-
tion, comparison theorem.
EJQTDE, 2010 No. 43, p. 1

for (E3 ) x′′′ (t) + q(t)x(t) = 0. Thus. We present criteria for (E) to be oscillatory or for every its nonoscillatory solution to be either strictly decreasing or tend to zero as t → ∞. At first we turn our attention to Theorem 2. Dzurina and Baculikova in [5] improve their results for the case when Z∞ a−1/γ (s) ds = ∞. then there exists a nonoscillatory solution of (E) and the Theorems from [9] are not applicable to deduce oscillation of (E). in [9] have established a useful comparison principle for studying properties of (E). It is useful to notice that for a very special case of (E). Grace et al. our goal is to prove that every nonoscillatory solution of (E) tends to zero as t → ∞. t0 Zhong et al. namely the differential equation  γ ′ + q(t)xγ [τ (t)] = 0.   (E2 ) a(t) x′′ (t) They presented conditions under which every nonoscillatory solution of (E2 ) tends to zero as t → ∞.’s method and extended some of their results to neutral differential equation γ  ′ a(t) [x(t) + p(t)x(σ(t))]′′   (E1 ) + q(t)f (x [τ (t)]) = 0. that is. we conclude that if the gap be- tween t and τ (t) is small. 2010 No. p.(E). then we can study the oscillatory character of (E).(E) with a couple of the first order delay differential equations in the sense that we deduce oscillation of Eq. which is the main result of the paper. in [24] adapted Grace et al. So that again from oscillation of a suitable first order delay equation we deduce oscillation of (E1 ) On the other hand. So our aim of this article is to provide a general classification of oscillatory and asymptotic behavior of the studied equation.2 from [9].2) x(t)x′ (t) > 0. from all above mentioned results. Saker and Dzurina in [21] studied a particular case of Eq. Hartman and Wintner in [11] have derived that (E3 ) always has a strongly de- creasing solution. In this case.(E) from the oscillation of this couple of equations. the effort for obtaining criteria for all nonoscillatory solutions to be strongly decreasing appeared. They have compared Eq. EJQTDE. Therefore. While if the difference t − τ (t) is large enough. 2 .for all sufficiently large t and it said to be strongly increasing if (1. 43. Those results are applicable even if the criteria presented in [9] fail.2 in [9] does not match its proof and for all that we provide a corrected version of the theorem. Formulation of Theorem 2. Recently differential equations of the form (E) and its special cases have been the subject of intensive research (see enclosed references).

t0 a(u) t0 τ (s) and both the first order delay equations Z τ (t) !   (EI ) ′ y (t) + cq(t)f sa−1/γ (s)ds f y 1/γ [τ (t)] = 0. and Z η(t) !   (EII ) z ′ (t) + q(t)f (ξ(t) − τ (t)) f a−1/γ (s)ds f z 1/γ [η(t)] = 0 ξ(t) are oscillatory. Lemma 2. 3 .2 in [9]] Let (H1) hold and assume that there exist two functions ξ(t) and η(t) ∈ C 1 ([t0 . eventually and x(t) is either strongly increasing or strongly decreasing.(E). The proof is complete. eventually and x(t) is strongly increasing. On the other hand. then every solution of Eq. Let x(t) be a nonoscillatory solution of Eq. Now. Proof. Let x(t) be a positive solution of (E). eventually. hence x′ (t) is of fixed sign. Lemma 1. 2. or (ii) x′′ (t) < 0.2) hold. there is an excess term f (g(t)) included in Eq.(E) is oscillatory. then x′ (t) is increasing and then either (1. Then [a(t) [x′′ (t)]γ ] < 0. 0 < c < 1. p. EJQTDE. If Z ∞ Z u "Z # !1/γ ∞ 1 (2.3) q(s)f (τ (s))f a−1/γ (v)dv ds du = ∞. t0 a(u) t0 τ (s) then x(t) does not satisfy case (ii) of Lemma 1. Then either (i) x′′ (t) > 0. Main results We start our main results with the classification of the possible nonoscillatory solutions of (E). if x′′ (t) < 0 then x′ (t) is decreasing. a(t) [x′′ (t)]γ is decreasing and of one sign ′ and it follows from hypothesis (H1) and (H2) that there exists a t1 ≥ t0 such that x′′ (t) is of fixed sign for t ≥ t1 . the proof is similar).1) or (1. If we have x′ (t) < 0. If ! !1/γ ∞ u ∞ 1 Z Z Z (1. and T ≥ t0 .2 in [9]. R) such that ξ ′ (t) > 0. η ′ (t) > 0 and τ (t) < ξ(t) < η(t) < t for t ≥ t0 . eventually (if it is an eventually negative. The following criterion eliminates case (ii) of Lemma 1. Remark 1. In the formulation of Theorem 2. the reader can easily reconstruct the results from [9] pertaining to Theorem 2. This contradicts the positivity of x(t). eventually.Theorem A. (EI ). 2010 No. We may assume that x(t) > 0. 43. [Theorem 2. Whereupon x′ (t) > 0. ∞).2. T for any constant c. Thus. Let x(t) be a positive solution of (E).1) q(s)f (τ (s))f a−1/γ (v)dv ds du = ∞. If we have x′′ (t) > 0. then limt→∞ x(t) = −∞.

there exist a constant m > 0 such that (2. Proof. 0 < k < 1 such that x(t) ≥ ktx′ (t) for t ≥ t1 . we get Z t Z ∞ ! !1/γ 1 −1/γ (2. Let (2. EJQTDE. Integrating (2. eventually. (2. for t ≥ t2 . we have Z t Z u Z ∞ ! !1/γ 1 −1/γ c q(s)f [τ (s)]f a (v)dv ds du ≤ x′ (t3 ). p.3) f (k) q(s)f [τ (s)]f (x′ [τ (s)])ds ≤ a(t2 )[x′′ (t2 )]γ − a(t)[x′′ (t)]γ . in view of (H4) and (2.(E). implies [a(t)[x′′ (t)]γ ]′ + f (k)q(t)f [τ (t)]f (x′ [τ (t)]) ≤ 0. Consequently. An integration of this inequality yields Z t (2. Proof Let x(t) be a positive solution of Eq. Therefore.6) c q(s)f [τ (s)]f a (v)dv ds ≤ −x′′ (t).1) hold.1). 2010 No.(E) is either oscillatory or strongly de- creasing. We assume that x(t) satisfies case (ii) of Lemma 1.3). Then there exist a t1 ≥ t0 and a constant k. t2 On the other hand. then every solution of Eq.(E).5) x (τ (t)) ≥ −a (s)x (s)a (s)ds ≥ m a−1/γ (s)ds.2). Theorem 1. 43.6) from t3 to t.5) together with (2. we have eliminated case (ii) of Lemma 1. From Lemma 2 we see that x′′ (t) > 0 and x(t) is either strongly increasing or strongly decreasing.2) x[τ (t)] ≥ kτ (t)x′ [τ (t)] for t ≥ t2 ≥ t1 . If the first order delay equation "Z # τ (t) h i (E4 ) ′ y (t) + q(t)f (τ (t) − u) a−1/γ (u)du f y 1/γ [τ (t)] = 0 t0 is oscillatory. a(t) t2 τ (s) where c = [f (m)f (k)]1/γ . which implies Z ∞ Z ∞ ′ 1/γ ′′ −1/γ (2. Now Eq. 4 . Let x(t) be a nonoscillatory solution of Eq. τ (t) τ (t) Combining (2. That is x′′ (t) < 0 and x′ (t) > 0. Now we are prepared to provide oscillation and asymptotic criteria for solutions of Eq. and taking into account (H3). t3 a(u) t2 τ (s) Letting t → ∞ we get a contradiction to condition (2. since −a1/γ (t)[x′′ (t)] is increasing. We may assume that x(t) > 0 for t ≥ t0 .4) −a1/γ (t)x′′ (t) ≥ m.(E).(E).

we achieve stronger asymptotic behavior of nonoscillatory solutions of Eq. Assume that x(t) is strongly increasing. Assume that ℓ > 0.9) q(s)ds dudv = ∞. that is x′ (t) > 0. one gets Z τ (t) 1/γ (2. 2010 No. t2 Hence. Proof. We shall prove that ℓ = 0. we have Z t Z s γ 1/γ  ′′  x(t) ≥ a(s)(x (s)) a−1/γ (u)duds t1 t1 1/γ Z t a(t)(x′′ (t))γ  ≥ (t − u) a−1/γ (u)du. t→∞ Integrating Eq. t2 where we have used (H3). It is clear that there exists a finite lim x(t) = ℓ. 43.7) from t1 to t. we are lead to Z t Z t 1/γ a−1/γ (u) a(u)(x′′ (u))γ ′ ′′  x (t) ≥ x (u)du = du t1 t1 1/γ Z t ≥ a(t)(x′′ (t))γ  (2. If Z ∞Z ∞ Z ∞ 1/γ 1 (2.8) x[τ (t)] ≥ y [τ (t)] (τ (t) − u) a−1/γ (u)du. t1 Integrating (2. t1 There exists a t2 ≥ t1 such that for all t ≥ t2 .(E).7) a−1/γ (u)du. Thus. eventually. we obtain Z ∞ Z ∞ ′′ γ a(t)(x (t)) ≥ q(s)f (x[τ (s)])ds ≥ f (ℓ) q(s)ds. by Theorem 1 in [19] we conclude that the corresponding differential equation (E4 ) also has a positive solution. We may assume that x(t) is positive. Combining (2. y(t) is a positive and decreasing solution of the differential inequality "Z # τ (t) h i ′ y (t) + q(t)f (τ (t) − u) a−1/γ (u)du f y 1/γ [τ (t)] ≤ 0.8) together with (E). Adding an additional condition.(E). t t EJQTDE.(E) from t to ∞ and using x[τ (t)] > ℓ and (H3). we see that " Z τ (t) # −y ′ (t) = q(t)f (x(τ (t))) ≥ q(t)f y 1/γ [τ (t)] (τ (t) − u) a−1/γ (u)du t2 "Z # τ (t) h i ≥ q(t)f (τ (t) − u) a−1/γ (u)du f y 1/γ [τ (t)] . Lemma 3. t0 v a1/γ (u) u then x(t) tends to zero as t → ∞. Using the fact that a(t) [x′′ (t)]γ is decreasing. t2 where y(t) = a(t)(x′′ (t))γ . which contradicts to oscillation of (E4 ). p. 5 . Therefore x(t) is strongly decreasing. Assume that x(t) is a strongly decreasing solution of Eq.

10)  1 q(s)τ β (s) a−1/γ (v)dv ds du = ∞.(E). we have: Corollary 1. 43. t→∞ Combining Theorem 1 and Lemma 3 we get: Theorem 2. Assume that (2. Assume (2. p.9) and Z ∞ Z u Z ∞ !γ !1/γ 1 (2. In Theorems 1 and 2 and Corollary 1 we have established new comparison principles that enable to deduce properties of the third order nonlinear differential equation (E) from oscillation of the first order nonlinear delay equation (E4 ).which implies Z ∞ 1/γ ℓ1 ′′ x (t) ≥ 1/γ q(s)ds . we get Z ∞ Z ∞ 1/γ ′ 1 −x (t) ≥ ℓ1 q(s)ds du. If the equation (E4 ) is oscilla- tory then every solution of Eq. a (t) t where ℓ1 = f 1/γ (ℓ) > 0.(E) is oscillatory or tends to zero as t → ∞. If the delay equation "Z #β τ (t) (E5 ) ′ y (t) + q(t) (τ (t) − s)a−1/γ (s)ds y β/γ [τ (t)] = 0 t0 is oscillatory then every solution of the equation γ ′ + q(t)xβ [τ (t)] = 0   (E6 ) a(t) x′′ (t) is oscillatory or tends to zero as t → ∞.9) holds. Consequently. we immediately obtain results for (E).9) holds and Z ∞  Z u Z ∞ !β 1/γ (2. Assume that (2. 2010 No. If "Z #γ t τ (u) 1 Z −1/γ (2. For a special case of Eq. Corollary 2.9) and so we have verified that lim x(t) = 0.11) q(s)τ γ (s) a−1/γ (v)dv ds du = ∞ t0 a(u) t0 τ (s) hold.du > t→∞ τ (t) t0 e EJQTDE. Integrating the last inequality from t to ∞. 6 . t1 v a1/γ (u) u Letting t → ∞ we have a contradiction with (2. taking into account oscillation criteria for (E4 ). t0 a(u) t0 τ (s) Assume that β is a quotient of odd positive integers.12) lim inf q(u) (τ (u) − s)a (s)ds . t a1/γ (u) u Now integrating from t1 to t. we arrive at Z tZ ∞ Z ∞ 1/γ 1 x(t1 ) ≥ ℓ1 q(s)ds dudv.1) and (2.

14) x(t) ≥ f (x[η(s3 )]) 1/γ q(s1 )ds1 ds2 ds3 . one gets Z ξ(s3 ) !1/γ Z ∞ ξ(s2 ) 1 Z 1/γ (2. we see that x(t) is strongly decreasing (i. x′ (t) < 0).1) hold and τ ′ (t) > 0. t t Then !1/γ ξ(t) f 1/γ (x[τ (ξ(t))]) Z x′′ (t) ≥ q(s1 )ds1 .9) and employ another one.e.14) by z(t). t s3 a (s2 ) s2 Let us denote the right hand side of (2.then every solution of the equation γ ′ + q(t)xγ [τ (t)] = 0   (E7 ) a(t) x′′ (t) is oscillatory or tends to zero as t → ∞. Let x(t) be a nonoscillatory solution of Eq.. If both first order delay equations (E4 ) and  !1/γ  Z ξ(t) Z ξ(s2 ) 1 (E8 ) z ′ (t) +  1/γ q(s1 )ds1 ds2  f 1/γ (z[η(t)]) = 0 t a (s2 ) s2 are oscillatory. then Eq. we get Z ξ(t) 1/γ Z ξ(s2 ) !1/γ f (x[τ (ξ(s 2 ))]) −x′ (t) ≥ q(s1 )ds1 ds2 t a1/γ (s2 ) s2 Z ξ(t) Z ξ(s2 ) !1/γ 1/γ 1 ≥ f (x[η(t)]) q(s1 )ds1 ds2 . and η(t) = τ (ξ(ξ(t))) < t.13) ξ ′ (t) ≥ 0. Integration of (E) from t to ξ(t) yields Z ξ(t) Z ξ(t) γ a(t) x′′ (t) ≥ q(s1 )f (x(τ (s1 )))ds1 ≥ f (x[τ (ξ(t))]) q(s1 )ds1 .1 in [16]) guarantees oscillation of (E6 ) with β = γ. Proof. Proof.(E). (E) is oscillatory.1. Theorem 3. Condition (2. We relax condition (2. Our method is new and complements the one presented in [9]. We may assume that x(t) > 0. 2010 No. Let (2.12) (see Theorem 2. t a1/γ (s2 ) s2 Finally. Now we eliminate the strongly decreasing solutions of (E) to get an oscillation result. 7 . ξ(t) > t. From Theorem 1. integrating from t to ∞. ∞)) such that (2. Then z(t) > 0 and one can easily verify that z(t) is a solution of the differential inequality  !1/γ  Z ξ(t) Z ξ(s2 ) 1 z ′ (t) +  1/γ (s ) q(s1 )ds1 ds2  f 1/γ (z[η(t)]) ≤ 0 t a 2 s2 EJQTDE. a1/γ (t) t Integrating from t to ξ(t) once more. Assume that there exist a function ξ(t) ∈ C 1 ([t0 . 43. p.

8 .12) reduces to 1 lim b(α − 1) ln α(1 − λα2 ) t > .1) is not satisfied. On the other hand.13) holds. p. 2010 No. Let us consider third order differential equation (E10 ) [t2 x′′ (t)]′ + bx (λt) = 0.1. (E10 ) is oscillatory. t→∞ e which is satisfied. Let (2. Therefore if (2. Assume that there exist a function ξ(t) ∈ C 1 ([t0 . (E) satisfies case (ii) of Lemma 2. t ≥ 1. Example 1. Assume that there exist a function ξ(t) ∈ C 1 ([t0 . b > 0. we immediately have: Corollary 3. EJQTDE. When choosing ξ(t) we are very particular about two conditions ξ(t) > t and τ (ξ(ξ(t))) < t hold. ∞)) such that (2.(E5 ) and  !1/γ  Z ξ(t) Z ξ(s2 ) 1 (E9 ) z ′ (t) +  1/γ q(s1 )ds1 ds2  z β/γ [η(t)] = 0 t a (s2 ) s2 are oscillatory. In the next example the reader can see the details.1) eliminates case (ii) of Lemma 2. Choosing ξ(t) = αt with 1 < α < √1 equation (E9 ) λ takes the form z ′ (t) + b(α − 1) ln α z[λα2 t] = 0 and the oscillation criterion (2. we have the following result: Theorem 4. It is easy to verify that (2. If both Eq. Let β be a quotient of odd positive integers. t→∞ 2 e which is evidently fulfilled. Theorems 1 and 3 implies that oscillation of both equations (E4 ) and (E8 ) eliminates case (ii) of Lemma 2. Now (E5 ) reduces to y ′ (t) + b(λt − ln λt − 1) y(λt) = 0 and the oscillation criterion (2. then every positive solution x(t) of Eq.12) takes the form  3  2λ − λ 1 lim b t + t ln t(λ − 1) + t ln λ(2λ − 1) > . Let τ ′ (t) > 0. (E) with f (u) = uβ . Then Theorem 1 in [19] shows that the corresponding differential equation (E8 ) has also a positive solution. λ ∈ (0.1. In the proof of Lemma 2 we have recognized that condition(2. We suggest for function ξ(t) ”to be close to” the inverse function of τ (t). For the special case of Eq. This contradiction finishes the proof. 1). Remark 2.10) holds for (E10 ). Unfortunately there is no general rule how to choose function ξ(t) to obtain the best result for oscillation of (E8 ).13) holds If both first order delay equations (E4 ) and (E8 ) are oscil- latory. ∞)) such that (2.1. then equation (E6 ) is oscillatory.10) hold and τ ′ (t) > 0. All conditions of Corollary 3 are satisfied and hence Eq. 43.

On the other hand. L. Modelling 26 (1997). (1995). Math. In this paper we provide a full classification of nonoscillatory solutions of (E). Cecchi. Math. P. Math. Zbl 1174. 443-448. Asymptotic properties of third order delay differential equations. We note that for b = 1/128λ3/2 one such solution of Eq. namely. Our conclusions are precedented by illustrative examples that confirm upgrading of known oscillation criteria. (2010). Oscillation of third-order neutral differential equations. b > 0. b1/3 α − 1 4/3   ′ z (t) + y(α2 λt) = 0 t α is oscillatory if  4/3 1/3 α − 1 1 1 b ln 2 > . J. Došlá and M. Saker. Our criteria im- prove and properly complement known results even for simple cases of (E). S. Slovaca 58 (2008). Let us consider third order delay differential equation  5 ′′ ′ b (E11 ) t (x (t))3 + 2 x (λt) = 0. 43. convergence to zero and nonexistence). Oscillation for third-order nonlinear differential equations with deviating argument Abstr. Appl. Džurina.34073 EJQTDE. Oscillation of third-order nonlinear differential equations. No. M. Elabbasy. we see that the corresponding equation (E8 ). 1-20. Z. Džurina. Anal. Comput. Comput. Oscillation criteria for third-order nonlinear differential equations. C. 9 . setting ξ(t) = αt. p. Moreover. λ ∈ (0.(E11 ). [5] B. Appl. Džurina. Modelling 52 (2010).Example 2. we obtain more general criteria for asymptotic properties of nonlinear third order equation (E). 215-226.1 provided that (2. S.(E11 ) is x(t) = t1/2 . No. t It is easy to verify that (2. Džurina. 1+ λ λ+2 λ+1 e Therefore Theorem 4 ensures that every positive solution x(t) of Eq. Zbl 0842. Czech.34052 [4] B.2. 19 p.34061 [2] M. J. Yeh. namely. Math. 45(120). Baculı́ková. 1). J. C. M.1) fails for Eq. Agarwal. with 1 < α < λ−1/2 . J.15) b √ ln √ > . Math. Zbl 0902.. Article ID 278962. H. References [1] R. 4 1-11. t ≥ 1. 2010 No. Shien.(E11 ) satisfies case (ii) of Lemma 2. Our partial results guarantee described asymptotic behavior of all nonoscillatory solutions (boundedness. the corre- sponding equation (E4 ). Zbl pre05690921 [3] B. Oscillation criteria for second order retarded differ- ential equations. Marini. Letters (2010) (to appear) [6] J. α α λ e √ √ which for α = ( λ + 1)/(2 λ) reduces to √ !4/3 1/3 1− λ 4 1 (2. Baculı́ková. Baculı́ková.15) holds.  3 b 3 9 y ′ (t) + 2 λt − (λt)1/3 + 3 z(λt) = 0 t 2 2 is oscillatory for every b. If we apply known/new criteria for both nonlinear first order equations (E4 ) and (E8 ) to be oscillatory. E. 2010. Bartušek.

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