# Semilinear equations

### From Mwiki

An equation is called semilinear if it consists of the sum of a well understood linear term plus a lower order nonlinear term. For elliptic and parabolic equations, the two effective possibilities for the linear term is to be either the fractional Laplacian or the fractional heat equation.

Some equations which technically do not satisfy the definition above are still considered semilinear. For example evolution equations of the form \[ u_t + (-\Delta)^s u + H(x,u,Du) = 0 \] can be thought of as semilinear equations even if $s<1/2$.

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## Some common semilinear equations

### The most common elliptic equation in the world (provisional title)

Adding a zeroth order term to the right hand side to either the Laplace equation or the fractional Laplace equation is probably the theme for which the largest number of papers has been written on PDEs. \[ (-\Delta)^s u = f(u). \] If $f$ is $C^\infty$ and some initial regularity can be shown to the solution $u$ (like $L^p$), then the solution $u$ will also be $C^\infty$, which can be shown by a standard bootstrapping.

Natural question to ask about this type of equations are about the existence of nontrivial global solutions that vanish at infinity, positivity of solutions, radial symmetry, etc...

### Reaction diffusion equations

This general class refers to the equations we get by adding a zeroth order term to the right hand side of a heat equation. For the fractional case, it would look like \[ u_t + (-\Delta)^s u = f(u). \]

The case $f(u) = u(1-u)$ corresponds to the Fisher equation. For this and other related models, it makes sense to study solutions restricted to $0 \leq u \leq 1$. The research centers around traveling waves, their stability, limits, etc... Solutions are trivially $C^\infty$ so there is no issue about regularity.

### Burgers equation with fractional diffusion

It refers to the parabolic equation for a function on the real line $u:[0,+\infty) \times \R \to \R$,
\[ u_t + u \ u_x + (-\Delta)^s u = 0 \]
The equation is known to be well posed if $s \geq 1/2$ and to develop shocks if $s<1/2$ ^{[1]}. Still, if $s \in (0,1/2)$, the solution regularizes for large enough times^{[2]}^{[3]}.

### Surface quasi-geostrophic equation

It refers to the parabolic equation for a scalar function on the plane $\theta:[0,+\infty) \times \R^2 \to \R$, \[ \theta_t + u \cdot \nabla \theta + (-\Delta)^s \theta = 0 \] where $u = R^\perp \theta$ (and $R$ is the Riesz transform).

The equation is well posed if $s \geq 1/2$. The well posedness in the case $s < 1/2$ is a major open problem.

### Conservation laws with fractional diffusion

(aka "fractal conservation laws")
It refers to parabolic equations of the form
\[ u_t + \mathrm{div } F(u) + (-\Delta)^s u = 0.\]
The Cauchy problem is known to be well posed classically if $s > 1/2$ ^{[4]}. For $s<1/2$ there are viscosity solutions that are not $C^1$.

The critical case $s=1/2$ appears not to be written anywhere. However, it can be solved following the same method as for the Hamilton-Jacobi equations with fractional diffusion (below) ^{[5]} or the modulus of continuity approach ^{[3]}.

### Hamilton-Jacobi equation with fractional diffusion

It refers to the parabolic equation \[ u_t + H(\nabla u) + (-\Delta)^s u = 0.\]

The Cauchy problem is known to be well posed classically if $s \geq 1/2$. For $s<1/2$ there are viscosity solutions that are not $C^1$.

The subcritical case $s>1/2$ can be solved with classical bootstrapping ^{[4]}. The critical case $s=1/2$ was solved using the regularity results for drift-diffusion equations ^{[5]}.

## References

- ↑ Kiselev, Alexander; Nazarov, Fedor; Shterenberg, Roman (2008), "Blow up and regularity for fractal Burgers equation",
*Dynamics of Partial Differential Equations***5**(3): 211–240, ISSN 1548-159X - ↑ Chan, Chi Hin; Czubak, Magdalena; Silvestre, Luis (2010), "Eventual regularization of the slightly supercritical fractional Burgers equation",
*Discrete and Continuous Dynamical Systems. Series A***27**(2): 847–861, doi:10.3934/dcds.2010.27.847, ISSN 1078-0947, http://dx.doi.org/10.3934/dcds.2010.27.847 - ↑
^{3.0}^{3.1}Kiselev, A. (2010), "Regularity and blow up for active scalars",*Mathematical Modelling of Natural Phenomena***5**(4): 225–255, doi:10.1051/mmnp/20105410, ISSN 0973-5348, http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/mmnp/20105410 - ↑
^{4.0}^{4.1}Droniou, Jérôme; Imbert, Cyril (2006), "Fractal first-order partial differential equations",*Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis***182**(2): 299–331, doi:10.1007/s00205-006-0429-2, ISSN 0003-9527, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00205-006-0429-2 - ↑
^{5.0}^{5.1}Silvestre, Luis (2011), "On the differentiability of the solution to the Hamilton-Jacobi equation with critical fractional diffusion",*Advances in Mathematics***226**(2): 2020–2039, doi:10.1016/j.aim.2010.09.007, ISSN 0001-8708, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aim.2010.09.007