Monday, December 5, 2011 - 11:00am
1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Division of Applied Mathematics, Brown University
We study a class of linear delay-differential equations, with a singledelay, of the form$$\dot x(t) = -a(t) x(t-1).\eqno(*)$$Such equations occur as linearizations of the nonlinear delay equation$\dot x(t) = -f(x(t-1))$ around certain solutions (often around periodicsolutions), and are key for understanding the stability of such solutions.Such nonlinear equations occur in a variety of scientific models, anddespite their simple appearance, can lead to a rather difficultmathematical analysis.We develop an associated linear theory to equation (*) by taking the$m$-fold wedge product (in the infinite dimensional sense of tensorproducts) of the dynamical system generated by (*). Remarkably, in the caseof a ``signed feedback'' where $(-1)^m a(t) > 0$ for some integer $m$, theassociated linear system is given by an operator which is positive withrespect to a certain cone in a Banach space. This leads to very detailedinformation about stability properties of (*), in particular, informationabout characteristic multipliers.