# Steady state solution (1D) of nonlinear dispersal equation

Now I'm interested in the equation $$\frac{\partial }{\partial x}\Bigl(\text{sgn}(x) u \Big) +\frac{\partial}{\partial x} \Bigl[ u^2 \frac{\partial u}{\partial x} \Bigr] =0$$ with boundary conditions $$u(-5)=u(5)=0$$

Since $$\text{sgn}(x)$$ is not differentiable at $$x=0$$, I expectd ND solve to have some problems. I tried

sol = NDSolveValue[{
0 == D[Sign[x]*u[x],x] + D[u[x]^2 D[u[x], x], x],
u[-6] == 0, u == 0}
, u, {x, -7, 7}]


but I can't even plot it and I think that I'm writing it in the wrong way. Could someone confirm I wrote the right snippet and show the plot I should obtain?

• I asked a related question three days ago, where the equation was the PDE $$\partial_t u = \partial_x (\text{sign}(x) u) + \partial_x (u^2\partial_x u)$$. The one I have above it's the steady state solution, and I want to compute it directly, instead of integrating in time.
• "but I can't even plot it " If you can't even solve it, you won't be able to plot it of course. – xzczd Sep 22 at 12:52
• @xzczd yes, but I think it's a problem of my code/Mathematica in my laptop. So I need to see at least what I should obtain – Vefhug Sep 22 at 12:57
• Actually, one of my concerns is also if the problem is ill-posed. Because this could be the source of my problem. Do you obtain something reasonable with NDsolve? @xzczd – Vefhug Sep 22 at 13:14
• Is u[x]==u[-x] symmetric? – Ulrich Neumann Sep 22 at 13:16
• @UlrichNeumann I don't know honestly... from a picture in the linked question it seems so. Dooes your NDsolve obtain something reasonable? – Vefhug Sep 22 at 13:17

The problem can be solved analytically.

First we transform the equation a bit. Integrate the ODE once we obtain

neweq = Integrate[D[Sign[x] u[x], x] + D[u[x]^2 D[u[x], x], x], x] == c
(* Sign[x] u[x] + u[x]^2 Derivative[u][x] == c *)


Then it's not hard to notice Sign[x] u[x] + u[x]^2 Derivative[u][x] is an odd function. We can analyze it manually, but here I'll use DChange to make the post a bit more interesting:

(* Definition of DChange isn't included in this post,
DChange[Sign[x] u[x] + u[x]^2 u'[x], x == -X, x, X, u[x]] // Expand
(* -Sign[X] u[X] - u[X]^2 Derivative[u][X] *)


Thus Sign[x] u[x] + u[x]^2 u'[x] == 0 at x == 0. Since c is a constant, we conclude c == 0.

Next we write it as an ODE of $$x(u)$$ for convenience of subsequent discussion:

neweqreverse = neweq /. c -> 0 /. {u[x] -> u, x -> x[u], u'[x] -> 1/x'[u]}
(* u Sign[x[u]] + u^2/Derivative[x][u] == 0 *)


Solve the ODE for $$x>0$$ and $$x<0$$ separately:

{eqR, eqL} = Simplify[neweqreverse, #] & /@ {x[u] > 0, x[u] < 0}
(* {u + u^2/Derivative[x][u] == 0, u (-1 + u/Derivative[x][u]) == 0} *)

solR = DSolveValue[{eqR, x[top] == 0}, x[u], u] // Simplify
(* 1/2 (top^2 - u^2) *)

solL = DSolveValue[{eqL, x[top] == 0}, x[u], u] // Simplify
(* 1/2 (-top^2 + u^2) *)


Notice here top is the value of $$u(0)$$.

For $$u(-5)=u(5)=0$$, the graphic of solutions can be obtained with e.g.

ParametricPlot[{#, u}, {u, -5, 5}, PlotRange -> All,
RegionFunction -> Function[{x}, x < 0], AspectRatio -> 1/GoldenRatio]~Show~
ParametricPlot[{#2, u}, {u, -5, 5},
RegionFunction -> Function[{x}, x > 0]] & @@ ({solL, solR} /. c -> 0 /.
Solve[solR == 5 /. c -> 0 /. u -> 0, top][]) As we can see, there exist 2 non-trivial solutions.

BTW it's easy to notice that $$u = 0$$ only if $$x=\pm \frac{\text{top}^2}{2}$$, so b.c.s like $$u(-5)=u(6)=0$$ don't form a well posed problem.

## Remark

1. Solution for $$m=\frac{1}{2}$$ case i.e.

D[Sign[x] u[x], x] + D[u[x]^(1/2) D[u[x], x], x] == 0


can be discussed in the same manner. Solution for $$u(-6)=u(6)=0$$ when $$m=\frac{1}{2}$$ can be plotted with e.g.

ParametricPlot[{#, u}, {u, -10, 10}, PlotRange -> All,
RegionFunction -> Function[{x}, x < 0], AspectRatio -> 1/GoldenRatio]~Show~
ParametricPlot[{#2, u}, {u, -10, 10}, RegionFunction -> Function[{x}, x > 0],
PlotRange -> All] & @@ ({solL, solR} /. c -> 0 /.
Solve[solR == 6 /. c -> 0 /. u -> 0, top][]) As illustrated, there's only one non-trivial solution when $$m=\frac{1}{2}$$.

2. One can directly solve neweq /. c -> 0 with DSolve. A warning will be generated then, but the results are correct.

• Wow, thanks again for such an answer @xzczd Just one last thing: is it bad-posed also in case where in place of $u^2$ I have $\sqrt{u}$? Because in your previous answer of two days your showed the same solution of the book in case $m=\frac{1}{2}$, which corresponds to $\sqrt{u}$ and the steady state case – Vefhug Sep 22 at 15:21
• @Vefhug Yes, see my update for more info. – xzczd Sep 22 at 15:32
• Thanks, but for the csae $m=\frac{1}{2}$, I can't understand which boundary conditons you imposed. Still $u(-6)=u(6)$ right? @xzczd – Vefhug Sep 22 at 15:47
• @Vefhug No, it's still $u(0)=\text{top}$. Then one can deduce $u=0$ only if $x=\pm 2\sqrt{\text{top}}$. – xzczd Sep 22 at 15:53
• Perfect, it's clear. The real last question ( I promise): for $u(-6)=u(6)=0$ we lose again uniquenuess and will obtain the same situation you plotted for the case $u^2$, right? – Vefhug Sep 22 at 16:05