The Mathematical Theories of Diffusion: Nonlinear and Fractional Diffusion

  • Juan Luis Vázquez
Part of the Lecture Notes in Mathematics book series (LNM, volume 2186)


We describe the mathematical theory of diffusion and heat transport with a view to including some of the main directions of recent research. The linear heat equation is the basic mathematical model that has been thoroughly studied in the last two centuries. It was followed by the theory of parabolic equations of different types. In a parallel development, the theory of stochastic partial differential equations gives a foundation to the probabilistic study of diffusion.

Nonlinear diffusion equations have played an important role not only in theory but also in physics and engineering, and we focus on a relevant aspect, the existence and propagation of free boundaries. Due to our research, we use the porous medium and fast diffusion equations as case examples.

A large part of the paper is devoted to diffusion driven by fractional Laplacian operators and other nonlocal integro-differential operators representing nonlocal, long-range diffusion effects. Three main models are examined (one linear, two nonlinear), and we report on recent progress in which the author is involved.



This work was partially supported by Spanish Project MTM2014-52240-P. The text is based on series of lectures given at the CIME Summer School held in Cetraro, Italy, in July 2016. The author is grateful to the CIME foundation for the excellent organization. The author is also very grateful to his collaborators mentioned in the text for an effort of many years. Special thanks are due to F. del Teso, N. Simonov and D. Stan for a careful reading and comments on the text.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department de MatemáticasUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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