WIAS Preprint No. 1554, (2010)

Center manifold reduction approach for the lubrication equation


  • Kitavtsev, Georgy
  • Recke, Lutz
  • Wagner, Barbara
    ORCID: 0000-0001-8306-3645

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 76D08 34E057 35B35


  • lubrication model, invariant manifold, coarsening dynamics




The goal of this study is the reduction of the lubrication equation, modelling thin film dynamics, onto an approximate invariant manifold. The reduction is derived for the physical situation of the late phase evolution of a dewetting thin liquid film, where arrays of droplets connected by an ultrathin film of thickness $eps$ undergo a slow-time coarsening dynamics. With this situation in mind, we construct an asymptotic approximation of the corresponding invariant manifold, that is parametrized by a family of droplet pressures and positions, in the limit when $epsto 0$. The approach is inspired by the paper by Mielke and Zelik [Mem. Amer. Math. Soc., Vol. 198, 2009], where the center manifold reduction was carried out for a class of semilinear systems. In this study this approach is considered for quasilinear degenerate parabolic PDE's such as lubrication equations. While it has previously been shown by Glasner and Witelski [Phys. Rev. E, Vol. 67, 2003], that the system of ODEs governing the coarsening dynamics, can be obtained via formal asymptotic methods, the center manifold reduction approach presented here, pursues the rigorous justification of this asymptotic limit.

Appeared in

  • Nonlinearity, 24 (2011) pp. 2347--2369.

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