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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Perturbation of eigenvalues due to gaps in two-dimensional boundaries

  • Author(s): Davis, AMJ
  • Smith, SGL
  • et al.

Motivated by problems involving diffusion through small gaps, we revisit two-dimensional eigenvalue problems with localized perturbations to Neumann boundary conditions. We recover the known result that the gravest eigenvalue is O(vertical bar ln epsilon vertical bar(-1)), where e is the ratio of the size of the hole to the length-scale of the domain, and provide a simple and constructive approach for summing the inverse logarithm terms and obtaining further corrections. Comparisons with numerical solutions obtained for special geometries, both for the Dirichlet 'patch problem' where the perturbation to the boundary consists of a different boundary condition and for the gap problem, confirm that this approach is a simple way of obtaining an accurate value for the gravest eigenvalue and hence the long-term outcome of the underlying diffusion problem.

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