# Multiple Solutions to a Boundary Value Problem for an n-th Order Nonlinear Difference Equation

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1 Differential Equations and Computational Simulations III J. Graef, R. Shivaji, B. Soni, & J. Zhu (Editors) Electronic Journal of Differential Equations, Conference 01, 1997, pp ISSN: URL: or ftp or (login: ftp) Multiple Solutions to a Boundary Value Problem for an n-th Order Nonlinear Difference Equation Susan D. Lauer Abstract We seek multiple solutions to the n-th order nonlinear difference equation n x(t) =( 1) n k f(t, x(t)), t [0,] satisfying the boundary conditions x(0) = x(1) = =x(k 1) = x( + k +1)= =x( +n)=0. Guo s fixed point theorem is applied multiple times to an operator defined on annular regions in a cone. In addition, the hypotheses invoked to obtain multiple solutions to this problem involves the condition (A) f : [0,] R + R + is continuous in x, as well as one of the following: (B) f is sublinear at 0 and superlinear at, or(c)fis superlinear at 0 and sublinear at. 1 Introduction Define the operator to be the forward difference and for i 1 define u(t) =u(t+1) u(t), i u(t) = ( i 1 u(t)). For a b integers define [a, b] ={a, a+1,...,b 1,b}. Let the integers n, 2 be given, and choose k {1,2,...,n 1}. Consider the nth order nonlinear difference equation satisfying the boundary conditions n x(t) =( 1) n k f(t, x(t)), t [0,], (1) x(0) = x(1) = =x(k 1) = x( + k +1)= =x( +n)=0. (2) 1991 Mathematics Subject Classifications: 39A10, 34B15. Key words and phrases: n-th order difference equation, boundary value problem, superlinear, sublinear, fixed point theorem, Green s function, discrete, nonlinear. c 1998 Southwest exas State University and University of North exas. Published November 12,

2 130 Multiple Solutions to a Difference Equation o simplify the discussion of the desired properties of the function f define the following four functions: f 0,m = lim u 0 + f 0,M = lim u 0 + min t [k, +k] max t [k, +k] f(t,u) u, f,m = lim u + f(t,u) u, and f,m = lim u + min t [k, +k] max t [k, +k] f(t,u) u, f(t,u) u. We seek to prove the existence of multiple positive solutions to (1) and (2) where (A) f :[0,] R + R + is continuous in x,wherer + denotes the nonnegative reals. We also require that one of the following sublinearity and superlinearity conditions on the function f holds: (B) f 0,m =+ and f,m =+,or (C) f 0,M =0 and f,m =0. We apply Guo s Fixed point theorem, Guo and Lakshmikantham [5], using cone methods to accomplish this. his technique was first applied to differential equations in the landmark paper by Erbe and Wang [4] using Krasnosel skiĭ s fixed point theorem, Krasnosel skiĭ [9]. A key to applying this fixed point theorem involves discrete concavity of solutions of the boundary value problem in conjunction with a lower bound on an appropriate Green s function. his work constitutes a complete generalization of the paper by Eloe, Henderson and Kaufmann [3] which we use extensively. We also utilize techniques from Hartman [6], Merdivenci [11], and Peterson [12]. Extensive use of the results by Eloe [2] concerning a lower bound for the Green s function will be made. 2 Preliminaries Let G(t, s) be the Green s function for the disconjugate boundary value problem Lx(t) n x(t) =0, t [0,] (3) and satisfying (2). he characterization of the Green s function can be found in Kelley and Peterson [8]. We will use G(t, s) as the kernel of an integral operator preserving a cone in a Banach space, the setting for our fixed point theorem. A closed, non-empty subset P of a Banach space B is said to be a cone provided (i) au + bv P for all u, v Pand for all a, b 0, and (ii) u, u P implies u =0. Repeated application of the following fixed point theorem from Guo, Guo and Lakshmikantham [5], will yield two solutions to (1) and (2).

3 Susan D. Lauer 131 heorem 2.1 Let B be a Banach space and P Bbe a cone. Let Ω 1 and Ω 2 be two bounded open sets in B such that 0 Ω 1 Ω 1 Ω 2.Let H: P (Ω 2 \Ω 1 ) P be a completely continuous operator satisfying either (i) Hx x,x P Ω 1,and Hx x,x P Ω 2,or (ii) Hx x,x P Ω 1,and Hx x,x P Ω 2. hen H has a fixed point in P ( Ω 2 \Ω 1 ). wo applications of 2.1 to the problem (1) and (2) following along the lines of methods incorporated by Eloe, Henderson and Kaufmann [3] will be performed. Note that x(t) is a solution of (1) and (2) if and only if x(t) =( 1) n k G(t, s)f(s, x(s)), t [0, +n]. Hartman [6] extensively studied the boundary value problem (1) and (2) with ( 1) n k f(t, u) 0. Eloe [2] employed lemmas from Hartman to arrive at the following theorem that gives a lower bound for the solution to the class of boundary value problems studied by Hartman. heorem 2.2 Assume that u satisfies the difference inequality ( 1) n k n u(t) 0, t [0,], and the homogeneous boundary conditions, (2). hen for t [k, + k], ( 1) n k n u(t)! ν! ( + ν)! u, where u = max u(t) and ν =max{k, n k}. t [k, +k] We remark that Agarwal and Wong [1] have recently sharpened the inequality of heorem 2.2. his sharper inequality is of little consequence for this work. Eloe also contributed the following corollary. Corollary 2.3 Let G(t, s) denote the Green s function for the boundary value problem, (3) and (2). hen for all s [0,], t [k, + k], where G(,s) = ( 1) n k n G(t, s)! ν! ( + ν)! G(,s), max G(t, s) and ν =max{k, n k}. t [k, +k]

4 132 Multiple Solutions to a Difference Equation o fulfill the hypotheses of heorem 2.1 let B = {u :[0, +n] R u(0) = u(1) = = u(k 1) = u( + k +1) = = u( +n)=0}with u = max u(t). Now(B, ) is a Banach space. t [k, +k] Let σ =! ν! (4) ( + ν)! with ν =max{k, n k} and define a cone P = {u B u(t) 0 on [0, +n] and min u(t) σ u }. t [k, +k] 3 Main Results We first seek two solutions to the case when f is sublinear at 0 and superlinear at. Define ( 1 η = G(,s ). (5) heorem 3.1 Assume f(t, x) satisfies conditions (A) and (B). Suppose there exists p>0such that if 0 u(t) p, t [0,],f(t, u) ηp. hen the boundary value problem (1) and (2) has at least two positive solutions u 1,u 2 P satisfying 0 u 1 p u 2. proof Define a summation operator H : P Bby Hx(t) =( 1) n k Now H : P Pandiscompletely continuous. Choose α>0 such that ασ 2 G(t, s)f(s, x(s)), x P (6) G(,s) 1. (7) By the sublinearity of f at 0 there exists 0 <r<psuch that f(t, u) αu for all 0 u r, t [0, +n]. For x P with x = r σ ασ G(,s) f(s, x(s)) G(,s) x(s)

5 Susan D. Lauer 133 ασ 2 G(,s) x herefore Hx x. Hence if we set x, t [k, + k]. Ω 1 = {u B u <r} Hx x, for all x P Ω 1. (8) Now for x P with x = p, Nowifwetake G(,s) f(s, x(s)) G(,s) ηp p = x, Ω 2 ={u B u <p} t [0, +k]. Hx x, for all x P Ω 2. (9) hus with (8) and (9), we have shown that H satisfies the hypotheses to heorem 2.1(ii). his yields a fixed point u 1 of H belonging to P ( ) Ω 2 \Ω 1. his fixed point is a solution of (1) and (2) satisfying r u 1 p. Next, choose ω>0 such that ωσ 2 G(,s) 1. (10) By the superlinearity of f at infinity there exists R 1 > 0 such that f(t, u) ωu for all u R 1, t [0, + n]. Let R =max{2p, R 1 }. Now for x Pwith x = R σ ωσ G(,s) f(s, x(s)) G(,s) x(s)

6 134 Multiple Solutions to a Difference Equation ωσ 2 G(,s) x herefore Hx x. Hence if we set x, t [k, + k]. Ω 3 = {u B u <R} Hx x, for all x P Ω 3. (11) hus with (9) and (11), we have shown that H satisfies the hypotheses to heorem 2.1(i). his yields a fixed point u 2 of H belonging to P ( ) Ω 3 \Ω 2. his fixed point is a solution of (1) and (2) satisfying p u 2 R. herefore, the boundary value problem (1) and (2) has at least two positive solutions u 1,u 2 P such that 0 u 1 p u 2. We now seek two solutions for the case when f is superlinear at 0 and sublinear at. heorem 3.2 Assume f(t, x) satisfies conditions (A) and (C). Suppose there exists q>0such that if σq u(t) q, t [k, + k], f(t, u) τq,where ( 1 τ= σ G(,s) ). (12) hen the boundary value problem (1) and (2) has at least two positive solutions u 1,u 2 P such that 0 u 1 q u 2. proof Define the summation operator as in (6) and define η as in (5). By the superlinearity of f at 0 there exists 0 <r<qsuch that f(t, u) ηu for all 0 u r, t [0,]. For x P with x = r, G(,s) ηx(s) ( ) G(,s) η x = x, herefore Hx x. Hence if we set t [0, +k]. Ω 1 = {u B u <r} Hx x, for all x P Ω 1. (13)

7 Susan D. Lauer 135 Next, for x P with x = q σ G(,s) τq q = x herefore Hx x. Hence if we set t [k, + k]. Ω 2 = {u B u <q} Hx x, for all x P Ω 2. (14) hus with (13) and (14), we have shown that H satisfies the hypotheses to heorem 2.1(i) which yields a fixed point u 1 of H belonging to P ( ) Ω 2 \Ω 1. his fixed point is a solution of (1) and (2) satisfying r u 1 q. Next, by condition (C), for every ε>0, there exists a ξ>0such that for all u 0, t [0, +k], f(t, u) ξ + εu. Let ε = η 2,whereηis defined by (5) and select a corresponding ξ. Let R =max{2q, 2 ξ η }.henforx P with x = R G(,s) [ξ+εx(s)] ξ G(,s) + ε G(,s) x(s) ξ η +ε G(,s) x R 2 + x = x, t [0, +k]. 2 herefore Hx x. Hence if we set Ω 3 = {u B u <R} Hx x, for all x P Ω 3. (15) hus with (14) and (15), we have shown that H satisfies the hypotheses to heorem 2.1(i) which yields a fixed point of H belonging to P ( Ω 3 \Ω 2 ). his fixed point, u 2, is a solution of (1) and (2) satisfying q u 2 R. herefore, the boundary value problem (1) and (2) has at least two positive solutions u 1,u 2 P such that 0 u 1 q u 2.

8 136 Multiple Solutions to a Difference Equation References [1] R. P. Agarwal and P. J. Y. Wong, Extension of continuous and discrete inequalities due to Eloe and Henderson, Nonlinear Analysis (in press). [2] P. W. Eloe, A generalization of concavity for finite differences, Computers and Mathematics with Applications (in press). [3] P. W. Eloe, J. L. Henderson, and E. R. Kaufmann, Multiple positive solutions for difference equations, Journal of Difference Equations and Applications (in press). [4] L. H. Erbe and H. Wang, On the existence of positive solutions of ordinary differential equations, Proceedings of the American Mathematical Society 120 (1994), [5] D. Guo and V. Lakshmikantham, Nonlinear Problems in Abstract Cones, Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, [6] P. Hartman, Difference equations: Disconjugacy, principal solutions, Green s functions, complete monotonicity, ransactions of the American Mathematical Society 2465 (1978), [7] J. L. Henderson and S. D. Lauer, Existence of a positive solution for an nth order boundary value problem for nonlinear difference equations, Abstract and Applied Analysis 2, Nos. 3-4 (1997), [8] W. G. Kelley and A. C. Peterson, Difference Equations, An Introduction with Applications, Academic Press, Inc., San Diego, [9] M. A. Krasnosel skiĭ, Positive Solutions of Operator Equations, P. Noordhoff Ltd., Groningen, he Netherlands. [10] S. D. Lauer, Positive solutions of a boundary value problem for second order nonlinear difference equations, Communications on Applied Nonlinear Analysis 4 (1997), Number 3. [11] F. Merdivenci, wo positive solutions of a boundary value problem for difference equations, Journal of Difference Equations and Applications 1 (1995), [12] A. C. Peterson, Boundary value problems for an nth order linear difference equation, SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis 15 (1984), Susan D. Lauer Department of Mathematics, uskegee University uskegee, Alabama USA address:

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