Evolution PDEs and augmented eigenfunctions. Half-line

  • Beatrice Pelloni

    University of Reading, UK
  • David A. Smith

    University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, USA


The solution of an initial-boundary value problem for a linear evolution partial differential equation posed on the half-line can be represented in terms of an integral in the complex (spectral) plane. is representation is obtained by the unified transform introduced by Fokas in the 90’s. On the other hand, it is known that many initial-boundary value problems can be solved via a classical transform pair, constructed via the spectral analysis of the associated spatial operator. For example, the Dirichlet problem for the heat equation can be solved by applying the Fourier sine transform pair. However, for many other initial-boundary value problems there is no suitable transform pair in the classical literature. Here we pose and answer two related questions: given any well-posed initial-boundary value problem, does there exist a (non-classical) transform pair suitable for solving that problem? If so, can this transform pair be constructed via the spectral analysis of a differential operator? The answer to both of these questions is positive and given in terms of augmented eigenfunctions, a novel class of spectral functionals. ese are eigenfunctions of a suitable dierential operator in a certain generalised sense, they provide an eective spectral representation of the operator, and are associated with a transform pair suitable to solve the given initial-boundary value problem.

Cite this article

Beatrice Pelloni, David A. Smith, Evolution PDEs and augmented eigenfunctions. Half-line. J. Spectr. Theory 6 (2016), no. 1, pp. 185–213

DOI 10.4171/JST/123