The aim of this paper is to establish multiplicity results of nontrivial and nonnegative solutions for mixed boundary value problems with the Sturm-Liouville equation. The approach is based on variational methods.
Keywords:boundary value problem; mixed conditions
The aim of this paper is to establish existence results of two and three nontrivial solutions for Sturm-Liouville problems with mixed conditions involving the ordinary p-Laplacian. We consider the following problem:
The existence of at least one solution for problem (P) has been obtained in , where only a unique algebraic condition on the nonlinear term is assumed (see [, Theorem 1.1]). In the present paper, first we obtain the existence of two solutions by combining an algebraic condition on f of type contained in  with the classical Ambrosetti-Rabinowitz condition.
The role of (AR) is to ensure the boundness of the Palais-Smale sequences for the Euler-Lagrange functional associated to the problem. This is very crucial in the applications of critical point theory. Subsequently, an existence result of three positive solutions is obtained combining two algebraic conditions which guarantee the existence of two local minima for the Euler-Lagrange functional and applying the mountain pass theorem as given by Pucci and Serrin (see ) to ensure the existence of the third critical point.
Many mathematical models give rise to problems for which only nonnegative solutions make sense; therefore, many research articles on the theory of positive solutions have appeared. For a complete overview on this subject, we refer to the monograph .
In this paper, we also present, as a consequence of our main theorems, some results on the existence of nonnegative solutions for a particular problem of type
where is such that a.e. , , and is a nonnegative continuous function. In particular, we obtain for such a problem the existence of at least three nonnegative solutions by requiring that the function g has a superlinear behavior at zero, a sublinear behavior at infinity, and a particular growth in a suitable interval . By a similar approach, in , the authors obtain the existence of multiple solutions for a Neumann elliptic problem.
Multiplicity results for a mixed boundary value problem have been studied by several authors (see, for instance, [5-8] and references therein). In , the authors establish multiplicity results for problem (P), when , and, in particular, they obtain the existence of three solutions, one of which can be trivial. On the contrary, our results (Theorems 3.5 and 3.6) guarantee the existence of three nonnegative and nontrivial solutions.
In , by using a fixed point theorem, the existence of at least three solutions for a mixed boundary problem with the equation is obtained, by requiring, among other things, the boundness of f in a right neighborhood of zero (hypothesis (H6), Theorem 3.1), instead in our results (Theorems 3.5 and 3.6) the nonlinearity can blow up at zero.
Here, as an example, we present the following result which is a particular case of Theorem 3.6.
admits at least three classical nonnegative and nontrivial solutions.
2 Preliminaries and basic notations
Our main tools are Theorems 2.1 and 2.2, consequences of the existence result of a local minimum [, Theorem 3.1] which is inspired by the Ricceri variational principle (see ). For more information on this topic see, for instance,  and .
Theorem 2.1 [, Theorem 5.1]
LetXbe a reflexive real Banach space; be a sequentially weakly lower semicontinuous, coercive, and continuously Gâteaux differentiable function whose Gâteaux derivative admits a continuous inverse on; be a continuously Gâteaux differentiable function whose Gâteaux derivative is compact. Putand assume that there are, , with, such that
Theorem 2.2 [, Theorem 5.3]
LetXbe a real Banach space; be a continuously Gâteaux differentiable function whose Gâteaux derivative admits a continuous inverse on; be a continuously Gâteaux differentiable function whose Gâteaux derivative is compact. Fixand assume that
Throughout the sequel, is an -Carathéodory function. We recall that a function is said to be an -Carathéodory function if is measurable for all , is continuous for almost every , and for all , one has . Clearly, if f is continuous in , then it is -Carathéodory.
We use the following notations:
3 Main results
In this section we present our main results.
Theorem 3.1Under the following conditions:
Proof The proof of this theorem is divided into two steps. In the first part, by applying Theorem 2.1, we prove the existence of a local minimum for the functional , where and are functionals given in (2.7) for all . Obviously, Φ and Ψ satisfy all regularity assumptions requested in Theorem 2.1, and the critical points in X of the functional are exactly the weak solutions of problem (P). To this end, we verify condition (2.4) of Theorem 2.1.
Now, arguing as before, we obtain
From hypothesis (i) and bearing in mind (3.3), (3.2), (3.5), and (3.6), we obtain
From the first part of the proof, we can assume that is a strict local minimum for in X. Therefore, there is such that , so condition [, (), Theorem 2.2] is verified.
as , so condition [, (), Theorem 2.2] is verified. Moreover, by standard computations, satisfies the Palais-Smale condition. Hence, the classical theorem of Ambrosetti and Rabinowitz ensures a critical point of such that . So, and are two distinct weak solutions of (P) and the proof is complete. □
Remark 3.1 We observe that in literature the existence of at least one nontrivial solution for differential problems is obtained associating to the classical Ambrosetti-Rabinowitz condition a hypothesis on the nonlinear term of type as . This implies that the problem possesses also the trivial solution . In Theorem 3.1, we find a nontrivial solution of the problem that actually is a proper local minimum of the Euler-Lagrange functional associated to the problem different from zero.
Now, we present an application of Theorem 2.2 which we will use to obtain multiple solutions.
Proof The functionals Φ and Ψ satisfy all regularity assumptions requested in Theorem 2.2. Moreover, by standard computations, condition (3.8) implies that , , is coercive. So, our aim is to verify condition (2.5) of Theorem 2.2. To this end, put
Arguing as in the proof of Theorem 3.1, we obtain that
Remark 3.2 We point out that the same statement of above given result can be obtained by using a classical direct methods theorem (see ), but in addition we get the location of the solution, hence in particular the solution is nontrivial.
Now, we point out some results when the nonlinear term is with separable variables. To be precise, let
consider the following boundary value problem:
We observe that the following results give the existence of multiple nonnegative solutions since the nonlinear term is supposed to be nonnegative. In order to justify what has been said above, we point out the following weak maximum principle.
Proof We claim that a weak solution is nonnegative. In fact, arguing by a contradiction and setting , one has . Put , one has (see, for instance, [, Lemma 7.6]). So, taking into account that is a weak solution and by choosing , one has
Corollary 3.1Assume that
On the other hand, one has
Hence, from Corollary 3.1 and taking (2.6) into account, the conclusion follows. □
A further consequence of Theorem 3.1 is the following result.
Theorem 3.4Assume that
Next, as a consequence of Theorems 3.3 and 3.2, the following theorem of the existence of three solutions is obtained.
Theorem 3.5Assume that
Proof First, we observe that owing to (3.13). Next, fix . Theorem 3.3 ensures a nontrivial weak solution such that which is a local minimum for the associated functional , as well as Theorem 3.2 guarantees a nontrivial weak solution such that which is a local minimum for . Hence, the mountain pass theorem as given by Pucci and Serrin (see ) ensures the conclusion. □
Theorem 3.6Assume that
Proof Clearly, (3.15) implies (3.8). Moreover, by choosing d small enough and , simple computations show that (3.14) implies (3.10). Finally, from (3.16) we get (3.7) and also (3.13). Hence, Theorem 3.5 ensures the conclusion. □
Finally, we present two examples of problems that admit multiple solutions owing to Theorems 3.4 and 3.6.
Example 3.2 Consider the following problem:
Owing to Theorem 3.6, the following problem
admits three nonnegative classical solutions. In fact, one has
The author declares that she has no competing interests.
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