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∗

Nonhomogeneous Superlinear Diﬀerential Equations

Wan-Tong Li†, Sui Sun Cheng‡

Received 20 December 2002

Abstract

We show that subtle modifcations of the arguments in [1] can lead us to

an oscillation criterion for a higher order superlinear nonhomogeneous diﬀerential

equation which depends only on the behavior of the forcing function on a sequence

of intervals.

In [1], Agarwal and Grace derive an oscillation theorem for the n-th order nonho-

mogeneous superlinear diﬀerential equation

where n ≥ 1 and q, f ∈ C([t0 , ∞); R). Besides the assumption q(t) < 0 for t ≥ t0 , their

result also requires the global behavior of the function f on [t0 , ∞). By means of the

following subtle modifications, we will obtain an oscillation result that only requires

behaviors of q and f on a sequence of intervals.

Recall first that a solution of (1) is a function y : [Ty , ∞) → R for some Ty ≥ t0 ,

which has the property y ∈ C (n) [Ty , ∞) and satisfies (1). We restrict our attention

only to the nontrivial solution y(t) of (1), i.e., to the solution y(t) such that sup{|y(t)| :

t ≥ T } > 0 for all T ≥ Ty . A nontrivial solution of (1) is called oscillatory if it has

arbitrary large zeros.

Let D(a, b) be the set of all functions H in C (n) [a, b] such that H(t) > 0 for t ∈ (a, b)

and H (j) (a) = H (j) (b) = 0 for 0 ≤ j ≤ n − 1.

THEOREM 1. Suppose that for any T ≥ t0 , there exist T ≤ s < τ such that

q(t) < 0 on [s, τ ] and f (t) ≥ 0 for t ∈ [s, τ ]. If there exists H ∈ D(s, τ ) such that

] ] # $1/(β−1)

τ τ H (n) (t)β

H(t)f (t)dt > (β − 1) β β/(1−β)

|q(t)|1/(1−β) dt, (2)

s s H(t)

PROOF. We will need the well known fact that if A and B are nonnegative and

β > 1, then Aβ + (β − 1)B β ≥ βAB β−1 and equality holds if and only if A = B. Now

∗ Mathematics Subject Classifications: 34C10, 34C15.

† Department of Applied Mathematics, Gansu University of Technology, and Department of Math-

ematics, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou, 730000, P. R. China.

‡ Department of Mathematics, Tsing Hua University, Hsinchu, Taiwan 30043, R. O. China

58

W. T. Li and S. S. Cheng 59

suppose that y(t) is an eventually positive solution which is positive, say y(t) > 0 when

t ≥ T0 ≥ t0 for some T0 depending on the solution y(t). By assumption, we can choose

s, τ ≥ T0 so that f (t) ≥ 0 on the interval I = [s, τ ] with s < τ . On the interval I, we

multiply Eq.(1) by H(t) for t ≥ t0 and integrate from s to τ , we obtain

] τ ] τ ] τ

(n) β−1

H(t)f (t)dt = H(t)y (t)dt + H(t)q(t) |y(t)| y(t)dt

s

]s τ ]s τ

= H(t)y (n) (t)dt − H(t) |q(t)| y β (t)dt. (3)

s s

Now, since

] τ ] τ ] τ

H(t)y (n) (t)dt = − H (t)y (n−1) (t)dt = ... = (−1)n H (n) (t)y(t)dt,

s s s

Uτ Uτ

thus s H(t)y (n) (t)dt is equal to s H (n) (t)y(t)dt if n is even and when n is odd, it is

Uτ

equal to − s H (n) (t)y(t)dt. Hence

] τ ] τ ] τ

(n)

H(t)f (t)dt = H (t)y(t)dt − H(t) |q(t)| y β (t)dt, if n is even,

s s s

and

] τ ] τ ] τ

H(t)f (t)dt = − H (n) (t)y(t)dt − H(t) |q(t)| y β (t)dt, if n is odd.

s s s

But then

] τ ] τ ] τ

(n)

H(t)f (t)dt ≤ H (t) y(t)dt − H(t) |q(t)| y β (t)dt.

s s s

Set

1/β

A = [H(t) |q(t)|] y(t),

and

1/(β−1)

1 (n) −1/β

B= H (t) (H(t) |q(t)|) ,

β

then in view of the inequality mentioned above, we see that

] ] # $1/(β−1)

τ τ H (n) (t)β 1/(1−β)

β/(1−β)

H(t)f (t)dt ≤ (β − 1) β |q(t)| dt,

s s H(t)

EXAMPLE 1. Consider the diﬀerential equation

2

y (t) + q |y(t)| y(t) = sin t, (4)

60 Superlinear Diﬀerential Equation

on [2kπ, 2kπ + π] for k = 0, 1, 2, ... . Let H(t) = sin t. Set s = 2kπ and τ = (2k + 1)π

where k is a suﬃciently large integer. Then

] τ ] π

π

H(t)f (t)dt = sin2 tdt = > 0,

s 0 2

and

] # $

τ β 1/(β−1)

|H (t)|

(β − 1) β β/(1−β)

|q|1/(1−β) dt

s H(t)

] π# $

3 1/2

−1/2 |cos t|

= 2 × 3−3/2 |q| dt

0 sin t

= 2 × 3−3/2 |q|−1/2 × 3.7081...,

] # $1/2

π/2

|cos t|3

dt

0 sin t

exists in view of

x1/2 (cos x)3/2

lim = 1,

x→0+ (sin x)1/2

and its numerical value is 1.8541...

In order that

π

> 2 × 3−3/2 |q|−1/2 × 3.7081...,

2

it is suﬃcient that

4 × 3−3/2 × 3.7081...

|q|1/2 > ≈ 0.90861...

π

Thus, when q < −(0.90861...)2 , Eq. (4) cannot have an eventually positive solution.

Similarly, the diﬀerential equation

2

x (t) + r |x(t)| x(t) = − sin t (5)

cannot have an eventually positive solution by taking H(t) = − sin t and s = (2k + 1)π

and τ = (2k + 2)π, and r < −(0.90861...)2 .

Since an eventaully positive solution of (4) is an eventually positive solution of (5),

thus when q < −(0.90861...)2 , every solution of (4) oscillates.

We remark that in eqaution (4), we may replace the constant q with a function q(t)

such that q(t) < 0 on each [2ki π, 2(k + 1)πi ], where {ki } is an unbounded subsequence

of {1, 2, 3, ...} .

W. T. Li and S. S. Cheng 61

We remark further that the results of Agarwal and Grace [1] cannot be applied to

Eq.(4), since

] t

1 −1

lim sup m (t − s)m sin tdt = lim sup (t − t0 )m cos t0 = +∞,

t→∞ t t0 t→∞ tm

and ] t

1 −1

lim inf m (t − s)m sin tdt = lim inf (t − t0 )m cos t0 = −∞.

t→∞ t t0 t→∞ tm

Finally, we remark that the same arguments in the proof of Theorem 1 will enable

us to derive the following integral type condition: Let q ∈ C[a, b] such that q(t) < 0

for a < t < b and let y ∈ C (n) [a, b] such that y(t) > 0

] ] # $1/(β−1)

b b H (n) (t)β 1/(1−β)

β/(1−β)

H(t)(Ly)(t)dt ≤ (β − 1)β |q(t)| dt,

a a H(t)

the NSF of Gansu Province of China (ZS011-A25-007-Z), the Foundation for University

Key Teacher by the Ministry of Education of China, and the Teaching and Research

Award Program for Outstanding Young Teachers in Higher Education Institutions of

Ministry of Education of China.

References

[1] R. P. Agarwal and S. R. Grace, Forced oscillation of nth -order nonlinear diﬀerential

equations, Appl. Math. Lett., 13(2000), 53-57.

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