09-109 Mark S. Ashbaugh, Fritz Gesztesy, Marius Mitrea, Roman Shterenberg, and Gerald Teschl
The Krein-von Neumann Extension and its Connection to an Abstract Buckling Problem (59K, LaTeX2e) Jul 12, 09
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Abstract. We prove the unitary equivalence of the inverse of the Krein--von Neumann extension (on the orthogonal complement of its kernel) of a densely defined, closed, strictly positive operator, $S\geq \varepsilon I_{\mathcal{H}}$ for some $\varepsilon >0$ in a Hilbert space $\mathcal{H}$ to an abstract buckling problem operator. In the concrete case where $S=\overline{-\Delta|_{C_0^\infty(\Omega)}}$ in $L^2(\Omega; d^n x)$ for $\Omega\subset\mathbb{R}^n$ an open, bounded (and sufficiently regular) domain, this recovers, as a particular case of a general result due to G. Grubb, that the eigenvalue problem for the Krein Laplacian $S_K$ (i.e., the Krein--von Neumann extension of $S$), \[ S_K v = \lambda v, \quad \lambda \neq 0, \] is in one-to-one correspondence with the problem of {\em the buckling of a clamped plate}, \[ (-\Delta)^2u=\lambda (-\Delta) u \, \text{ in } \, \Omega, \quad \lambda \neq 0, \quad u\in H_0^2(\Omega), \] where $u$ and $v$ are related via the pair of formulas \[ u = S_F^{-1} (-\Delta) v, \quad v = \lambda^{-1}(-\Delta) u, \] with $S_F$ the Friedrichs extension of $S$. This establishes the Krein extension as a natural object in elasticity theory (in analogy to the Friedrichs extension, which found natural applications in quantum mechanics, elasticity, etc.).

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