Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Canonical edge problems for the biharmonic equation can be solved by separating variables. The eigenvalues and eigenvectors arising in this separation are derived from a reduced system of ordinary differential equations along lines suggested in the excellent work of R. C. Smith (1952). We study the reduced system which is governed by a vector ordinary differential equation. A solution of the biharmonic problem, governed by a partial differential equation, can be found only if the prescribed data is restricted to a subspace of the space spanned by the eigenfunctions of the reduced problem. The theory leads to problems in generalized harmonic analysis which seek conditions under which arbitrary vector fields f(y) with values in ℝ2 can be represented in terms of eigenvectors of the reduced problem. This paper adds new theorems and conjectures to the theory. We extend Smith's generalization to fourth-order problems of the methods introduced by Titchmarsh (1946) to study eigenfunction expansions associated with second-order problems. We use this method to prove that, if f(y)=[(f 1(y), f 2y)], -1≦y≦1, f(y)ε C1[-1, 1], f″ε L2[-1, 1], then the series expressing f(y) converges uniformly to f(y) in the open interval (-1, 1), uniformly in [-1, 1] if f 1(±1)=0 and, in any case, to [0, f 2(±1)-f 1(±1)] at y=±1. This is unlike Fourier series, which converge to the mean value of the periodic extension of a function. The series exhibits a Gibbs phenomenon near the end points of discontinuity when f 1(±1) ≠ 0. The Gibbs undershoot and overshoot for the step function vector [1, 0] and ramp function vector [y, 0] are computed numerically. The undershoot and overshoot are much larger than in the case of Fourier series and, unlike Fourier series, the Gibbs oscillations do not appear to be entirely suppressed by Féjer's method of summing Cesaro sums. We show that, when f(y) has interior points of discontinuity, the series for f(y) diverges and we present numerical results which indicate that, in this divergent case, the Cesaro sums converge to f(y) apparently with Gibbs oscillations near the point of discontinuity.
Type of Medium: