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Zeros of accretive operators

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In the investigation of accretive operators in Banach spaces X, the existence of zeros plays an important role, since it yields surjectivity results as well as fixed point theorems for operators S such that I-S is accretive. Let D⊂X and T: D→X an operator such that the initial value problems

(1) u′(t)=-Tu(t), u(0)=x εD are solvable. Then T has a zero iff (1) has a constant solution for some xεD. Under certain assumptions on D and T it is possible to show that (1) has a unique solution u(t,x) on [0,∞), for every xεD. In this case, define U(t): D→D by U(t)x=u(t,x). If T is accretive it turns out that U(t) is nonexpansive for every t≥0. This fact constitutes the basis for several authors concerned with this subject. They proceed with assumptions on D and X ensuring either that the U(t) must have a common fixed point xo or that U(p) has a fixed point xp for every p≥0. In the first case, U(t)xo is a constant solution of (1), whence Txo=0. In the second case, U(t)xp is a p-periodic solution of (1). Hence, one has to impose additional conditions on T which imply that a p-periodic solution must be constant, for some p>0.

The main purpose of the present paper is to show that, in certain situations, either the operators U(t) are actually strict contractions or T may be approximated by operators Tn such that the corresponding Un(t) are strict contractions. Thus, we obtain several results in general Banach spaces and a unification of some results in special spaces.

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Deimling, K. Zeros of accretive operators. Manuscripta Math 13, 365–374 (1974).

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