We consider instationary creeping flow of a viscous liquid drop with free boundary driven by surface tension. This yields a nonlocal surface motion law involving the solution of the Stokes equations with Neumann boundary conditions given by the curvature of the boundary. The surface motion law is locally reformulated as a fully nonlinear parabolic (pseudodifferential) equation on a smooth manifold. Using analytic expansions, invariance properties, and a priori estimates we give, under suitable presumptions, a short-time existence and uniqueness proof for the solution of this equation in Sobolev spaces of sufficiently high order. Moreover, it is shown that if the initial shape of the drop is near the ball, then the evolution problem has a solution for all positive times which exponentially decays to the ball.
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Matthias Günther, Georg Prokert, Existence Results for the Quasistationary Motion of a Free Capillary Liquid Drop. Z. Anal. Anwend. 16 (1997), no. 2, pp. 311–348DOI 10.4171/ZAA/765