## On the isoperimetric problem for the Laplacian with Robin and Wentzell boundary conditions

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Open Access

### Type

PhD Doctorate### Author/s

Kennedy, James Bernard### Abstract

We consider the problem of minimising the eigenvalues of the Laplacian with Robin boundary conditions $\frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \alpha u = 0$ and generalised Wentzell boundary conditions $\Delta u + \beta \frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \gamma u = 0$ with respect to the ...

See moreWe consider the problem of minimising the eigenvalues of the Laplacian with Robin boundary conditions $\frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \alpha u = 0$ and generalised Wentzell boundary conditions $\Delta u + \beta \frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \gamma u = 0$ with respect to the domain $\Omega \subset \mathbb R^N$ on which the problem is defined. For the Robin problem, when $\alpha > 0$ we extend the Faber-Krahn inequality of Daners [Math. Ann. 335 (2006), 767--785], which states that the ball minimises the first eigenvalue, to prove that the minimiser is unique amongst domains of class $C^2$. The method of proof uses a functional of the level sets to estimate the first eigenvalue from below, together with a rearrangement of the ball's eigenfunction onto the domain $\Omega$ and the usual isoperimetric inequality. We then prove that the second eigenvalue attains its minimum only on the disjoint union of two equal balls, and set the proof up so it works for the Robin $p$-Laplacian. For the higher eigenvalues, we show that it is in general impossible for a minimiser to exist independently of $\alpha > 0$. When $\alpha < 0$, we prove that every eigenvalue behaves like $-\alpha^2$ as $\alpha \to -\infty$, provided only that $\Omega$ is bounded with $C^1$ boundary. This generalises a result of Lou and Zhu [Pacific J. Math. 214 (2004), 323--334] for the first eigenvalue. For the Wentzell problem, we (re-)prove general operator properties, including for the less-studied case $\beta < 0$, where the problem is ill-posed in some sense. In particular, we give a new proof of the compactness of the resolvent and the structure of the spectrum, at least if $\partial \Omega$ is smooth. We prove Faber-Krahn-type inequalities in the general case $\beta, \gamma \neq 0$, based on the Robin counterpart, and for the ``best'' case $\beta, \gamma > 0$ establish a type of equivalence property between the Wentzell and Robin minimisers for all eigenvalues. This yields a minimiser of the second Wentzell eigenvalue. We also prove a Cheeger-type inequality for the first eigenvalue in this case.

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See moreWe consider the problem of minimising the eigenvalues of the Laplacian with Robin boundary conditions $\frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \alpha u = 0$ and generalised Wentzell boundary conditions $\Delta u + \beta \frac{\partial u}{\partial \nu} + \gamma u = 0$ with respect to the domain $\Omega \subset \mathbb R^N$ on which the problem is defined. For the Robin problem, when $\alpha > 0$ we extend the Faber-Krahn inequality of Daners [Math. Ann. 335 (2006), 767--785], which states that the ball minimises the first eigenvalue, to prove that the minimiser is unique amongst domains of class $C^2$. The method of proof uses a functional of the level sets to estimate the first eigenvalue from below, together with a rearrangement of the ball's eigenfunction onto the domain $\Omega$ and the usual isoperimetric inequality. We then prove that the second eigenvalue attains its minimum only on the disjoint union of two equal balls, and set the proof up so it works for the Robin $p$-Laplacian. For the higher eigenvalues, we show that it is in general impossible for a minimiser to exist independently of $\alpha > 0$. When $\alpha < 0$, we prove that every eigenvalue behaves like $-\alpha^2$ as $\alpha \to -\infty$, provided only that $\Omega$ is bounded with $C^1$ boundary. This generalises a result of Lou and Zhu [Pacific J. Math. 214 (2004), 323--334] for the first eigenvalue. For the Wentzell problem, we (re-)prove general operator properties, including for the less-studied case $\beta < 0$, where the problem is ill-posed in some sense. In particular, we give a new proof of the compactness of the resolvent and the structure of the spectrum, at least if $\partial \Omega$ is smooth. We prove Faber-Krahn-type inequalities in the general case $\beta, \gamma \neq 0$, based on the Robin counterpart, and for the ``best'' case $\beta, \gamma > 0$ establish a type of equivalence property between the Wentzell and Robin minimisers for all eigenvalues. This yields a minimiser of the second Wentzell eigenvalue. We also prove a Cheeger-type inequality for the first eigenvalue in this case.

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### Date

2010-03-17### Publisher

University of Sydney.School of Mathematics and Statistics

### Licence

The author retains copyright of this thesis.## Share