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A case study in vanishing viscosity

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  • We consider a special $2 \times 2$ viscous hyperbolic system of conservation laws of the form $u_t + A(u)u_{x} = \varepsilon u_{x x}$, where $A(u) = Df(u)$ is the Jacobian of a flux function $f$. For initialdata with smalltotalv ariation, we prove that the solutions satisfy a uniform BV bound, independent of $\varepsilon $. Letting $\varepsilon \to 0$, we show that solutions of the viscous system converge to the unique entropy weak solutions of the hyperbolic system $u_t + f(u)_{x} = 0$. Within the proof, we introduce two new Lyapunov functionals which control the interaction of viscous waves of the same family. This provides a first example where uniform BV bounds and convergence of vanishing viscosity solutions are obtained, for a system with a genuinely nonlinear field where shock and rarefaction curves do not coincide.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: 35K40, 35L65.


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