APM346-2022S > Chapter 1

Classification of PDEs

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Weihan Luo:
I am a little bit confused about the classifications of PDES. Namely, I have trouble distinguishing between linear equations versus quasi-linear equations.

In particular, the definition of a linear PDE, from the textbook, is: $au_{x}+bu_{y}+cu-f=0$, where $f= f(x,y)$. However, if we simply move the the $cu$ to the right-hand side, we get: $au_{x}+bu_{y}=f-cu$. Now, define $g(x,y,u) = f(x,y)-cu$, then $au_{x}+bu_{y}=g(x,y,u)$, and the right-hand side now depends on lower-order derivatives, so by definition, it's quasi-linear. Could someone help identify the issue with this argument?

Victor Ivrii:

--- Quote from: Weihan Luo on January 14, 2022, 12:38:03 AM ---In particular, the definition of a linear PDE, from the textbook, is: $au_{x}+bu_{y}+cu-f=0$, where $f= f(x,y)$. However, if we simply move the the $cu$ to the right-hand side, we get: $au_{x}+bu_{y}=f-cu$. Now, define $g(x,y,u) = f(x,y)-cu$, then $au_{x}+bu_{y}=g(x,y,u)$, and the right-hand side now depends on lower-order derivatives, so by definition, it's quasi-linear. Could someone help identify the issue with this argument?

--- End quote ---
First, it will be not just quasilinear, but also  semilinear. Second, it will also be linear since you can move $c(x,y)u$ to the left

Good job, you mastered some $\LaTeX$ basics. :)

Weihan Luo:
Thank you for your response.

Does it mean that all linear PDEs are also quasilinear/or semilinear? If so, on a quiz, I should classify those PDEs as linear right?

Victor Ivrii:
Yes, all linear are also semilinear and all semilinear are also quasilinear. For full mark you need to provide the most precise classification. So, if equation is linear you say "linear", if it is semilinear but not  linear you say "semilinear but not  linear" and so on,... "quasilinear but not  semilinear" and "non-linear and not quasilinear".