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Definition, non uniqueness

Solutions in the sense of distributions

1. Notion of distributions

derivatives of non smooth functions, typically of Heaviside functions. The

suitable tool to do that is Schwartz’ theory of distributions.

I Duality

The space of distributions is essentially the smaller space

• containing continuous functions,

• and stable by derivation.

view on functions. Instead of considering a function f : R → R as the

collection of its values f (x) for allRx ∈ R, we define f by its averages

against suitable test functions f (x)ϕ(x)dx .

Solutions in the sense of distributions

The class of test functions is D = Cc∞ (R), so that, for any ϕ ∈ D, one

can define

• infinitely many derivatives ;

• the integral against any continuous function.

Distributions are “continuous ” linear forms on D.

Z

Tu : ϕ ∈ D 7→ hTu , ϕi = ϕ(x)u(x)dx .

u ∈ C 0 (R) 7→ Tu ∈ D

is an injective mapping.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I Derivation of distributions

Weak derivation has to correspond to classical derivation if relevant.

For any function u ∈ C 1 (R), an integration by part shows that

Z Z

hT∂u , ϕi = ϕ(x)u 0 (x)dx = − ϕ0 (x)u(x)dx ,

therefore the distribution defined by

def

∀ϕ ∈ D, h∂ α T , ϕi = (−1)α hT , ∂ α ϕi .

the derivative of the corresponding distribution.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I Examples

• The Heaviside function is the function H defined on R by

H(x) = 0 if x ≤ 0, H(x) = 1 if x > 0.

H(x)

1

)

x

∞ −

It is of course C on R+ ∗ and on R∗ , but has a jump at x = 0, so that it

is even not continuous....

It has nevertheless a weak derivative defined by

Z +∞

h∂H, ϕi = − H(x)ϕ0 (x)dx = ϕ(0)

−∞

Solutions in the sense of distributions

δ = ∂x H

It is NOT a function, but it can be approximated (as all distributions) by

sequences of functions, for instance ε1 ψ xεR where ψ is some smooth

ψε(x)

_ 1/ε

x

l
l

-ε

ε

Z Z Z

1 x

ψ ϕ(x)dx = ψ(y )ϕ(εy )dy = ϕ(0)+ ψ(y ) (ϕ(εy ) − ϕ(0)) dy

ε ε

tends indeed to ϕ(0) as ε → 0 (since ϕ0 is uniformly bounded).

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I The unknown

We can now extend the notion of solution of a PDE by considering

derivatives in weak sense. This is actually a very standard tool for linear

PDEs.

But products of distribution are not defined in general !

δ is not a function, therefore δ 2 does not make sense

H is not continuous at x = 0, therefore δH does not make sense

In order that the Hopf equation makes sense, we therefore require that

weak solutions are bounded functions.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

For such functions, the equation in conservative form

1

∂t u + ∂x u 2 = 0

2

is well-defined.

Note that this is in general not the case of the transport equation

∂t u + u∂x u = 0.

1 1

∂t u 2 + ∂x u 3 = 0 ,

2 3

is not an equivalent formulation, and will not be satisfied in general for

weak solutions of the Hopf equation.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

We call solution in the sense of distributions of the Hopf equation any

function u ∈ L∞ (R+ × R) (defined and bounded almost everywhere)

such that for all ϕ ∈ Cc∞ (R+ × R)

ZZ Z

1 2

u∂t ϕ + u ∂x ϕ (t, x)dxdt = − u0 ϕ|t=0 dx .

2

bounded function on a countable number of points does not modify the

corresponding distribution. This is why weak solutions are defined only

almost everywhere.

Note that test functions are compactly supported on R+ × R, so that

boundary terms appear in the integration by parts. The initial condition

is therefore encoded in the integral formulation.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I Some solutions

Strong solutions obtained by the method of characteristics are

distributional solutions of the Hopf equation. For piecewise C 1 functions,

one can indeed justify the integration by parts

ZZ ZZ Z

1 1

(u∂t ϕ + u 2 ∂x ϕ)dtdx = − (∂t u + ∂x u 2 )ϕdtdx − uϕ(0, x)dx

2 2

Z

= − u0 ϕ(0, x)dx

x

u(t, x) = v with v (z) = max(ul , min(z, ur )) .

t

The only additional difficulty here is the singularity at time 0, which can

be dealt with by approximation

Z +∞ Z Z

1 2

(u∂t ϕ + u ∂x ϕ)dtdx = − u(ε, x)ϕ(ε, x)dx

ε 2

Z 0 Z +∞

→− ul ϕ(0, x)dx − ur ϕ(0, x)dx

−∞ 0

Solutions in the sense of distributions

x

u(t, x) = v with v (z) = ul 11z≤s + ur 11z>s .

t

A straightforward computation indeed leads to

ZZ

1

(u∂t ϕ + u 2 ∂x ϕ)dtdx

2

ZZ ZZ

1 2 1

= (ul ∂t ϕ + ul ∂x ϕ)dtdx + (ur ∂t ϕ + ur2 ∂x ϕ)dtdx

x≤st 2 x>st 2

Z x Z Z Z

1

=− ul ϕ , x dx − ul ϕ(0, x)dx + ul2 ϕ(t, st)dt

x>0 s x<0 2

Z x Z Z Z

1

+ ur ϕ , x dx − ur ϕ(0, x)dx − ur2 ϕ(t, st)dt

s 2

Zx>0 x>0

Z

1 2

= − s(ul − ur ) + (ul − ur2 ) ϕ(t, st)dt − u0 (x)ϕ(0, x)dx

2

The Hopf equation is then equivalent to the Rankine-Hugoniot jump

conditions giving the shock speed :

1

−s(ul − ur ) + (ul2 − ur2 ) = 0 .

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I Global existence of solutions for bounded initial data

The existence of weak solutions to the Hopf equation does not result

from a general theorem (like the Cauchy-Lipschitz theorem for ODEs, or

some fixed point theorem). Weak solutions are built by approximation :

• Glimm’s approximation scheme described in the previous session

Discretization of the Hopf equation with respect to space and time,

and explicit resolution of the Riemann problem.

• Viscous approximation to be studied in the next parallel session

Smoothing of the Hopf equation by some viscous dissipation, and

explicit resolution of the heat equation.

• Kinetic formulation

Statistical description of the microscopic structure of the fluid, and

study of the relaxation process

Solutions in the sense of distributions

the approximate solution satisfies the Hopf equation up to a small

remainder.

The point is to get the convergence, i.e. the stability of the Hopf

equation : the approximate solution is close (at least in some weak sense)

to some true solution.

more or less some convergence in average) is not enough to describe the

asymptotic behaviour of nonlinear terms.

The main possible pathologies come from oscillations and

concentrations, which have to be excluded by additional a priori

estimates.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

I Non uniqueness

With that notion of solution, we have no more uniqueness !

Starting from instance of the Heaviside function u0 = H, we can check

that both functions u1 and u2 defined respectively by

1

u1 (t, x) = H x − t ,

2

0 if x <0

x

u2 (t, x) = if 0 <x <t

t

1 if x > t

are solutions in the sense of distributions of the Hopf equation, i.e.

ZZ Z

1 2

u∂t ϕ + u ∂x ϕ dxdt = − u0 (x)ϕ(0, x)dx .

2

Solutions in the sense of distributions

least two weak solutions, a rarefaction wave and a shock wave.

Solutions in the sense of distributions

The shock wave can be discarded using

• Lax-Oleinik’s condition

1 1

∂t u 2 + ∂x u 3 ≤ 0 in the sense of distributions;

2 3

• a causality principle : characteristics coming from the shock should

be traced back to the initial time.

of shocks. Anyone of them ensures uniqueness of the solution starting

from any bounded initial data.

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