WIAS Preprint No. 2206, (2016)

Systems describing electrothermal effects with p(x)-Laplacian like structure for discontinuous variable exponents


  • Bulíček, Miroslav
  • Glitzky, Annegret
    ORCID: 0000-0003-1995-5491
  • Liero, Matthias
    ORCID: 0000-0002-0963-2915

2010 Mathematics Subject Classification

  • 35J92 35Q79 35J57 80A20


  • Sobolev spaces with variable exponent, existence of weak solution, thermistor system, p(x)-Laplacian, heat transfer




We consider a coupled system of two elliptic PDEs, where the elliptic term in the first equation shares the properties of the p(x)-Laplacian with discontinuous exponent, while in the second equation we have to deal with an a priori L1 term on the right hand side. Such a system of equations is suitable for the description of various electrothermal effects, in particular those, where the non-Ohmic behavior can change dramatically with respect to the spatial variable. We prove the existence of a weak solution under very weak assumptions on the data and also under general structural assumptions on the constitutive equations of the model. The main difficulty consists in the fact that we have to overcome simultaneously two obstacles - the discontinuous variable exponent (which limits the use of standard methods) and the L1 right hand side of the heat equation. Our existence proof based on Galerkin approximation is highly constructive and therefore seems to be suitable also for numerical purposes.

Appeared in

  • SIAM J. Math. Anal., 48 (2016), pp. 3496--3514.

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