Publications

My publications can be found in preprint form on my arXiv listing and in published form through my mathscinet listing.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Stability of contact lines in fluids: 2D Navier-Stokes flow. Preprint (2020), 82 pp.

Abstract: In this paper we study the dynamics of an incompressible viscous fluid evolving in an open-top container in two dimensions. The fluid mechanics are dictated by the Navier-Stokes equations. The upper boundary of the fluid is free and evolves within the container. The fluid is acted upon by a uniform gravitational field, and capillary forces are accounted for along the free boundary. The triple-phase interfaces where the fluid, air above the vessel, and solid vessel wall come in contact are called contact points, and the angles formed at the contact point are called contact angles. The model that we consider integrates boundary conditions that allow for full motion of the contact points and angles. Equilibrium configurations consist of quiescent fluid within a domain whose upper boundary is given as the graph of a function minimizing a gravity-capillary energy functional, subject to a fixed mass constraint. The equilibrium contact angles can take on any values between \(0\) and \(\pi\) depending on the choice of capillary parameters. The main thrust of the paper is the development of a scheme of a priori estimates that show that solutions emanating from data sufficiently close to the equilibrium exist globally in time and decay to equilibrium at an exponential rate.


A. Remond-Tiedrez, I. Tice. Anisotropic micropolar fluids subject to a uniform microtorque: the stable case. Preprint (2020), 74 pp.

Abstract: We study a three-dimensional, incompressible, viscous, micropolar fluid with anisotropic microstructure on a periodic domain. Subject to a uniform microtorque, this system admits a unique nontrivial equilibrium. We prove that when the microstructure is inertially oblate (i.e. pancake-like) this equilibrium is nonlinearly asymptotically stable. Our proof employs a nonlinear energy method built from the natural energy dissipation structure of the problem. Numerous difficulties arise due to the dissipative-conservative structure of the problem. Indeed, the dissipation fails to be coercive over the energy, which itself is weakly coupled in the sense that, while it provides estimates for the fluid velocity and microstructure angular velocity, it only provides control of two of the six components of the microinertia tensor. To overcome these problems, our method relies on a delicate combination of two distinct tiers of energy-dissipation estimates, together with transport-like advection-rotation estimates for the microinertia. When combined with a quantitative rigidity result for the microinertia, these allow us to deduce the existence of global-in-time decaying solutions near equilibrium.


N. Stevenson, I. Tice. Traveling wave solutions to the multilayer free boundary incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. To appear in SIAM J. Math. Anal., 40 pp.

Abstract: For a natural number \(m \ge 2\), we study \(m\) layers of finite depth, horizontally infinite, viscous, and incompressible fluid bounded below by a flat rigid bottom. Adjacent layers meet at free interface regions, and the top layer is bounded above by a free boundary as well. A uniform gravitational field, normal to the rigid bottom, acts on the fluid. We assume that the fluid mass densities are strictly decreasing from bottom to top and consider the cases with and without surface tension acting on the free surfaces. In addition to these gravity-capillary effects, we allow a force to act on the bulk and external stress tensors to act on the free interface regions. Both of these additional forces are posited to be in traveling wave form: time-independent when viewed in a coordinate system moving at a constant, nontrivial velocity parallel to the lower rigid boundary. Without surface tension in the case of two dimensional fluids and with all positive surface tensions in the higher dimensional cases, we prove that for each sufficiently small force and stress tuple there exists a traveling wave solution. The existence of traveling wave solutions to the one layer configuration (\(m=1\)) was recently established and, to the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first construction of traveling wave solutions to the incompressible Navier-Stokes equations in the \(m\)-layer arrangement.


G. Leoni, I. Tice. Traveling wave solutions to the free boundary incompressible Navier-Stokes equations. To appear in Comm. Pure Appl. Math., 75 pp.

Abstract:  In this paper we study a finite-depth layer of viscous incompressible fluid in dimension \(n \ge 2\), modeled by the Navier-Stokes equations. The fluid is assumed to be bounded below by a flat rigid surface and above by a free, moving interface. A uniform gravitational field acts perpendicularly to the flat surface, and we consider the cases with and without surface tension acting on the free interface. In addition to these gravity-capillary effects, we allow for a second force field in the bulk and an external stress tensor on the free interface, both of which are posited to be in traveling wave form, i.e. time-independent when viewed in a coordinate system moving at a constant velocity parallel to the rigid lower boundary. We prove that, with surface tension in dimension \(n \ge 2\) and without surface tension in dimension \(n=2\), for every nontrivial traveling velocity there exists a nonempty open set of force and stress data that give rise to traveling wave solutions. While the existence of inviscid traveling waves is well known, to the best of our knowledge this is the first construction of viscous traveling wave solutions.

Our proof involves a number of novel analytic ingredients, including: the study of an over-determined Stokes problem and its under-determined adjoint, a delicate asymptotic development of the symbol for a normal-stress to normal-Dirichlet map defined via the Stokes operator, a new scale of specialized anisotropic Sobolev spaces, and the study of a pseudodifferential operator that synthesizes the various operators acting on the free surface functions.


D. Bian, Y. Guo, I. Tice. Linear instability of Z-pinch in plasma: inviscid case. Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci. 31 (2021), no. 2, 409-472.

Abstract:  The z-pinch is a classical steady state for the MHD model, where a confined plasma fluid is separated by vacuum, in the presence of a magnetic field which is generated by a prescribed current along the z direction. We develop a variational framework to study its stability in the absence of viscosity effect, and demonstrate for the first time that any such a z-pinch is always unstable. Moreover, we discover a sufficient condition such that the eigenvalues can be unbounded, which leads to ill-posedness of the linearized MHD system.


A. Remond-Tiedrez, I. Tice. Anisotropic micropolar fluids subject to a uniform microtorque: the unstable case. Comm. Math. Phys. 381 (2021), no. 3, 947-999.

Abstract:  We study a three-dimensional, incompressible, viscous, micropolar fluid with anisotropic microstructure on a periodic domain. Subject to a uniform microtorque, this system admits a unique nontrivial equilibrium. We prove that this equilibrium is nonlinearly unstable. Our proof relies on a nonlinear bootstrap instability argument which uses control of higher-order norms to identify the instability at the \(L^2\)-level.


I. Tice, L. Wu. Dynamics and stability of sessile drops with contact points. J. Differential Equations 272 (2021), 649-731.

Abstract:  In an effort to study the stability of contact lines in fluids, we consider the dynamics of a drop of incompressible viscous Stokes fluid evolving above a one-dimensional flat surface under the influence of gravity. This is a free boundary problem: the interface between the fluid on the surface and the air above (modeled by a trivial fluid) is free to move and experiences capillary forces. The three-phase interface where the fluid, air, and solid vessel wall meet is known as a contact point, and the angle formed between the free interface and the flat surface is called the contact angle. We consider a model of this problem that allows for fully dynamic contact points and angles. We develop a scheme of a priori estimates for the model, which then allow us to show that for initial data sufficiently close to equilibrium, the model admits global solutions that decay to a shifted equilibrium exponentially fast.


N. Stevenson, I. Tice. A truncated real interpolation method and characterizations of screened Sobolev spaces. Comm. Pure Appl. Anal. 19 (2020), no. 12, 5509-5566.

Abstract:  In this paper we prove structural and topological characterizations of the screened Sobolev spaces with screening functions bounded below and above by positive constants. We introduce a novel method of interpolation between seminormed spaces, called the truncated method, which generates this subfamily and more general scales that we call the screened Besov spaces. We then prove that the screened Besov spaces are equivalent to the sum of a Lebesgue space and a homogeneous Sobolev space and provide a frequency space characterization in the spirit of the Littlewood-Paley decomposition.


N. Stevenson, I. Tice. Analysis of micropolar fluids: existence of potential microflow solutions, nearby global well-posedness, and asymptotic stability. Acta Appl. Math. 170, (2020), 903-945.

Abstract:  In this paper we concern ourselves with an incompressible, viscous, isotropic, and periodic micropolar fluid. We find that in the absence of forcing and microtorquing there exists an infinite family of well-behaved solutions, which we call potential microflows, in which the fluid velocity vanishes identically, but the angular velocity of the microstructure is conservative and obeys a linear parabolic system. We then prove that nearby each potential microflow, the nonlinear equations of motion are well-posed globally-in-time, and solutions are stable. Finally, we prove that in the absence of force and microtorque, solutions decay exponentially, and in the presence of force and microtorque obeying certain conditions, solutions have quantifiable decay rates.


D. Bian, Y. Guo, I. Tice. Linear instability of Z-pinch in plasma: viscous case. Math. Models Methods Appl. Sci. 30 (2020), no. 14, 2827-2907.

Abstract:  The z-pinch is a classical steady state for the MHD model, where a confined plasma fluid is separated by vacuum, in the presence of a magnetic field which is generated by a prescribed current along the z direction. We develop a scaled variational framework to study its stability in the presence of viscosity effect, and demonstrate that any such z-pinch is always unstable. We also establish the existence of a largest growing mode, which dominates the linear growth of the linear MHD system.


I. Tice, S. Zbarsky. Decay of solutions to the linearized free surface Navier-Stokes equations with fractional boundary operators. J. Math. Fluid Mech. 22, 48 (2020).

Abstract:  In this paper we consider a slab of viscous incompressible fluid bounded above by a free boundary, bounded below by a flat rigid interface, and acted on by gravity. The unique equilibrium is a flat slab of quiescent fluid. It is well-known that equilibria are asymptotically stable but that the rate of decay to equilibrium depends heavily on whether or not surface tension forces are accounted for at the free interface. The aim of the paper is to better understand the decay rate by studying a generalization of the linearized dynamics in which the surface tension operator is replaced by a more general fractional-order differential operator, which allows us to continuously interpolate between the case without surface tension and the case with surface tension. We study the decay of the linearized problem in terms of the choice of the generalized operator and in terms of the horizontal cross-section. In the case of a periodic cross-section we identify a critical order of the differential operator at which the decay rate transitions from almost exponential to exponential.


D. Altizio, I. Tice, X. Wu, T. Yasuda. The nonlinear stability regime of the viscous Faraday wave problem. Quart. Appl. Math. 78 (2020), 545-587.

Abstract:  This paper concerns the dynamics of a layer of incompressible viscous fluid lying above a vertically oscillating rigid plane and with an upper boundary given by a free surface. We consider the problem with gravity and surface tension for horizontally periodic flows. This problem gives rise to flat but vertically oscillating equilibrium solutions, and the main thrust of this paper is to study the asymptotic stability of these equilibria in certain parameter regimes. We prove that both with and without surface tension there exists a parameter regime in which sufficiently small perturbations of the equilibrium at time t=0 give rise to global-in-time solutions that decay to equilibrium at an identified quantitative rate.


A. Remond-Tiedrez, I. Tice. The viscous surface wave problem with generalized surface energies. SIAM J. Math. Anal. (2019), no. 6, 4894-4952.

Abstract:  We study a three-dimensional incompressible viscous fluid in a horizontally periodic domain with finite depth whose free boundary is the graph of a function. The fluid is subject to gravity and generalized forces arising from a surface energy. The surface energy incorporates both bending and surface tension effects. We prove that for initial conditions sufficiently close to equilibrium the problem is globally well-posed and solutions decay to equilibrium exponentially fast, in an appropriate norm. Our proof is centered around a nonlinear energy method that is coupled to careful estimates of the fully nonlinear surface energy.


G. Leoni, I. Tice. Traces for homogeneous Sobolev spaces in infinite strip-like domains. J. Funct. Anal. 277 (2019), no. 7, 2288-2380.

Abstract:  In this paper we construct a trace operator for homogeneous Sobolev spaces defined on infinite strip-like domains. We identify an intrinsic seminorm on the resulting trace space that makes the trace operator bounded and allows us to construct a bounded right inverse. The intrinsic seminorm involves two features not encountered in the trace theory of bounded Lipschitz domains or half-spaces. First, due to the strip-like structure of the domain, the boundary splits into two infinite disconnected components. The traces onto each component are not completely independent, and the intrinsic seminorm contains a term that measures the difference between the two traces. Second, as in the usual trace theory, there is a term in the seminorm measuring the fractional Sobolev regularity of the trace functions with a difference quotient integral. However, the finite width of the strip-like domain gives rise to a screening effect that bounds the range of the difference quotient perturbation. The screened homogeneous fractional Sobolev spaces defined by this screened seminorm on arbitrary open sets are of independent interest, and we study their basic properties. We conclude the paper with applications of the trace theory to partial differential equations.


I. Tice, L. Wu. Dynamics and stability of surface waves with bulk-soluble surfactants. Acta Appl. Math. 161 (2019), 35-70.

Abstract:  In this paper we study the dynamics of a layer of incompressible viscous fluid bounded below by a rigid boundary and above by a free boundary, in the presence of a uniform gravitational field. We assume that a mass of surfactant is present both at the free surface and in the bulk of fluid, and that conversion from one species to the other is possible. The surfactants couple to the fluid dynamics through the coefficient of surface tension, which depends on the the surface density of surfactants. Gradients in this concentration give rise to Marangoni stress on the free surface. In turn, the fluids advect the surfactants and distort their concentration through geometric distortions of the free surface. We model the surfactants in a way that allows absorption and desorption of surfactant between the surface and bulk. We prove that small perturbations of the equilibrium solutions give rise to global-in-time solutions that decay to equilibrium at an exponential rate. This establishes the asymptotic stability of the equilibrium solutions.


I. Tice. Asymptotic stability of shear-flow solutions to incompressible viscous free boundary problems with and without surface tension. Z. Angew. Math. Phys. 69 (2018), no. 2, Art. 28, 39pp.

Abstract:  This paper concerns the dynamics of a layer of incompressible viscous fluid lying above a rigid plane and with an upper boundary given by a free surface. The fluid is subject to a constant external force with a horizontal component, which arises in modeling the motion of such a fluid down an inclined plane, after a coordinate change. We consider the problem both with and without surface tension for horizontally periodic flows. This problem gives rise to shear-flow equilibrium solutions, and the main thrust of this paper is to study the asymptotic stability of the equilibria in certain parameter regimes. We prove that there exists a parameter regime in which sufficiently small perturbations of the equilibrium at time t=0 give rise to global-in-time solutions that return to equilibrium exponentially in the case with surface tension and almost exponentially in the case without surface tension. We also establish a vanishing surface tension limit, which connects the solutions with and without surface tension.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Stability of contact lines in fluids: 2D Stokes flow. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 227 (2018), no. 2, 767-854.

Abstract:  In an effort to study the stability of contact lines in fluids, we consider the dynamics of an incompressible viscous Stokes fluid evolving in a two-dimensional open-top vessel under the influence of gravity. This is a free boundary problem: the interface between the fluid in the vessel and the air above (modeled by a trivial fluid) is free to move and experiences capillary forces. The three-phase interface where the fluid, air, and solid vessel wall meet is known as a contact point, and the angle formed between the free interface and the vessel is called the contact angle. We consider a model of this problem that allows for fully dynamic contact points and angles. We develop a scheme of a priori estimates for the model, which then allow us to show that for initial data sufficiently close to equilibrium, the model admits global solutions that decay to equilibrium exponentially fast.


I. Tice, Y. Zheng. Local well-posedness of the contact line problem in 2D Stokes flow. SIAM J. Math. Anal. 49 (2017), no. 2, 899-953.

Abstract:  We consider the evolution of contact lines for viscous fluids in a two-dimensional open-top vessel. The domain is bounded above by a free moving boundary and otherwise by the solid wall of a vessel. The dynamics of the fluid are governed by the incompressible Stokes equations under the influence of gravity, and the interface between fluid and air is under the effect of capillary forces. Here we develop a local well-posedness theory of the problem in the framework of nonlinear energy methods. We utilize several techniques, including: energy estimates of a geometric formulation of the Stokes equations, a Galerkin method with a time-dependent basis for an \(\varepsilon\)-perturbed linear Stokes problem in moving domains, the contraction mapping principle for the \(\varepsilon\)-perturbed nonlinear full contact line problem, and a continuity argument for uniform energy estimates.


C. Kim, I. Tice. Dynamics and stability of surface waves with surfactants. SIAM J. Math. Anal. 49 (2017), no. 2, 1295-1332.

Abstract:  In this paper we consider a layer of incompressible viscous fluid lying above a flat periodic surface in a uniform gravitational field. The upper boundary of the fluid is free and evolves in time. We assume that a mass of surfactants resides on the free surface and evolves in time with the fluid. The surfactants dynamics couple to the fluid dynamics by adjusting the surface tension coefficient on the interface and also through tangential Marangoni stresses caused by gradients in surfactant concentration. We prove that small perturbations of equilibria give rise to global-in-time solutions in an appropriate functional space, and we prove that the solutions return to equilibrium exponentially fast. In particular this proves the asymptotic stability of equilibria.


J. Jang, I. Tice, Y. Wang. The compressible viscous surface-internal wave problem: local well-posedness. SIAM J. Math. Anal. 48 (2016), no. 4, 2602-2673.

Abstract:  This paper concerns the dynamics of two layers of compressible, barotropic, viscous fluid lying atop one another. The lower fluid is bounded below by a rigid bottom, and the upper fluid is bounded above by a trivial fluid of constant pressure. This is a free boundary problem: the interfaces between the fluids and above the upper fluid are free to move. The fluids are acted on by gravity in the bulk, and at the free interfaces we consider both the case of surface tension and the case of no surface forces. We prove that the problem is locally well-posed. Our method relies on energy methods in Sobolev spaces for a collection of related linear and nonlinear problems.


J. Jang, I. Tice, Y. Wang. The compressible viscous surface-internal wave problem: stability and vanishing surface tension limit. Comm. Math. Phys. 343 (2016), no. 3, 1039-1113.

Abstract:  This paper concerns the dynamics of two layers of compressible, barotropic, viscous fluid lying atop one another. The lower fluid is bounded below by a rigid bottom, and the upper fluid is bounded above by a trivial fluid of constant pressure. This is a free boundary problem: the interfaces between the fluids and above the upper fluid are free to move. The fluids are acted on by gravity in the bulk, and at the free interfaces we consider both the case of surface tension and the case of no surface forces. We establish a sharp nonlinear global-in-time stability criterion and give the explicit decay rates to the equilibrium. When the upper fluid is heavier than the lower fluid along the equilibrium interface, we characterize the set of surface tension values in which the equilibrium is nonlinearly stable. Remarkably, this set is non-empty, i.e. sufficiently large surface tension can prevent the onset of the Rayleigh-Taylor instability. When the lower fluid is heavier than the upper fluid, we show that the equilibrium is stable for all non-negative surface tensions and we establish the zero surface tension limit.


J. Jang, I. Tice, Y. Wang. The compressible viscous surface-internal wave problem: nonlinear Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 221 (2016), no. 1, 215-272.

Abstract:  This paper concerns the dynamics of two layers of compressible, barotropic, viscous fluid lying atop one another. The lower fluid is bounded below by a rigid bottom, and the upper fluid is bounded above by a trivial fluid of constant pressure. This is a free boundary problem: the interfaces between the fluids and above the upper fluid are free to move. The fluids are acted on by gravity in the bulk, and at the free interfaces we consider both the case of surface tension and the case of no surface forces. We are concerned with the Rayleigh-Taylor instability when the upper fluid is heavier than the lower fluid along the equilibrium interface. When the surface tension at the free internal interface is below the critical value, we prove that the problem is nonlinear unstable.


J. Jang, I. Tice. Passive scalars, moving boundaries, and Newton's law of cooling. Discrete Contin. Dyn. Syst. 36 (2016), 1383-1413.

Abstract:  We study the evolution of passive scalars in both rigid and moving slab-like domains, in both horizontally periodic and infinite contexts. The scalar is required to satisfy Robin-type boundary conditions corresponding to Newton's law of cooling, which lead to nontrivial equilibrium configurations. We study the equilibration rate of the passive scalar in terms of the parameters in the boundary condition and the equilibration rates of the background velocity field and moving domain.


C. Kim, I. Tice, Y. Wang. The viscous surface-internal wave problem: global well-posedness and decay. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 212 (2014), no. 1, 1-92.

Abstract:  We consider the free boundary problem for two layers of immiscible, viscous, incompressible fluid in a uniform gravitational field, lying above a general rigid bottom in a three-dimensional horizontally periodic setting. We establish the global well-posedness of the problem both with and without surface tension. We prove that without surface tension the solution decays to the equilibrium state at an almost exponential rate; with surface tension, we show that the solution decays at an exponential rate. Our results include the case in which a heavier fluid lies above a lighter one, provided that the surface tension at the free internal interface is above a critical value, which we identify. This means that sufficiently large surface tension stabilizes the Rayleigh-Taylor instability in the nonlinear setting. As a part of our analysis, we establish elliptic estimates for the two-phase stationary Stokes problem.


J. Jang, I. Tice. Instability theory of the Navier-Stokes-Poisson equations. Anal. PDE 6 (2013), no. 5, 1121-1181.

Abstract:  The stability question of the Lane-Emden stationary gaseous star configurations is an interesting problem arising in astrophysics. We establish both linear and nonlinear dynamical instability results for the Lane-Emden solutions in the framework of the Navier-Stokes-Poisson system with adiabatic exponent \(6/5 < \gamma < 4/3\).


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Almost exponential decay of periodic viscous surface waves without surface tension. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 207 (2013), no. 2, 459-531.

Abstract:  We consider a viscous fluid of finite depth below the air, occupying a three-dimensional domain bounded below by a fixed solid boundary and above by a free moving boundary. The fluid dynamics are governed by the gravity-driven incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, and the effect of surface tension is neglected on the free surface. The long time behavior of solutions near equilibrium has been an intriguing question since the work of Beale. This paper is the third in a series of three that answers this question. Here we consider the case in which the free interface is horizontally periodic; we prove that the problem is globally well-posed and that solutions decay to equilibrium at an almost exponential rate. In particular, the free interface decays to a flat surface.

Our framework contains several novel techniques, which include: (1) optimal a priori estimates that utilize a ``geometric'' reformulation of the equations; (2) a two-tier energy method that couples the boundedness of high-order energy to the decay of low-order energy, the latter of which is necessary to balance out the growth of the highest derivatives of the free interface; (3) a localization procedure that is compatible with the energy method and allows for curved lower surface geometry. Our decay estimates lead to the construction of global-in-time solutions to the surface wave problem.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Decay of viscous surface waves without surface tension in horizontally infinite domains. Anal. PDE 6 (2013), no. 6, 1429-1533.

Abstract:  We consider a viscous fluid of finite depth below the air, occupying a three-dimensional domain bounded below by a fixed solid boundary and above by a free moving boundary. The fluid dynamics are governed by the gravity-driven incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, and the effect of surface tension is neglected on the free surface. The long time behavior of solutions near equilibrium has been an intriguing question since the work of Beale. This paper is the second in a series of three that answers this question. Here we consider the case in which the free interface is horizontally infinite; we prove that the problem is globally well-posed and that solutions decay to equilibrium at an algebraic rate. In particular, the free interface decays to a flat surface.

Our framework contains several novel techniques, which include: (1) optimal a priori estimates that utilize a ``geometric'' reformulation of the equations; (2) a two-tier energy method that couples the boundedness of high-order energy to the decay of low-order energy, the latter of which is necessary to balance out the growth of the highest derivatives of the free interface; (3) control of both negative and positive Sobolev norms, which enhances interpolation estimates and allows for the decay of infinite surface waves. Our decay estimates lead to the construction of global-in-time solutions to the surface wave problem.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Local well-posedness of the viscous surface wave problem without surface tension. Anal. PDE 6 (2013), no. 2, 287-369.

Abstract:  We consider a viscous fluid of finite depth below the air, occupying a three-dimensional domain bounded below by a fixed solid boundary and above by a free moving boundary. The domain is allowed to have a horizontal cross-section that is either periodic or infinite in extent. The fluid dynamics are governed by the gravity-driven incompressible Navier-Stokes equations, and the effect of surface tension is neglected on the free surface. This paper is the first in a series of three on the global well-posedness and decay of the viscous surface wave problem without surface tension. Here we develop a local well-posedness theory for the equations in the framework of the nonlinear energy method, which is based on the natural energy structure of the problem. Our proof involves several novel techniques, including: (1) optimal energy estimates in a ``geometric'' reformulation of the equations; (2) a well-posedness theory of the linearized Navier-Stokes equations in moving domains; (3) a time-dependent functional framework, which couples to a Galerkin method with a time-dependent basis.


I. Tice, Y. Wang. The viscous surface-internal wave problem: nonlinear Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Comm. PDE. 32 (2012), no. 11, 1967-2028.

Abstract:  We consider the free boundary problem for two layers of immiscible, viscous, incompressible fluid in a uniform gravitational field, lying above a rigid bottom in a three-dimensional horizontally periodic setting. The effect of surface tension is either taken into account at both free boundaries or neglected at both. We are concerned with the Rayleigh-Taylor instability, so we assume that the upper fluid is heavier than the lower fluid. When the surface tension at the free internal interface is below a critical value, which we identify, we establish that the problem under consideration is nonlinearly unstable.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Compressible, inviscid Rayleigh-Taylor instability. Indiana Univ. Math. J. 60 (2011), no. 2, 667-712.

Abstract:  We consider the Rayleigh-Taylor problem for two compressible, immiscible, inviscid, barotropic fluids evolving with a free interface in the presence of a uniform gravitational field. After constructing Rayleigh-Taylor steady-state solutions with a denser fluid lying above the free interface with the second fluid, we turn to an analysis of the equations obtained from linearizing around such a steady state. By a natural variational approach, we construct normal mode solutions that grow exponentially in time with rate like \(e^{t \sqrt{\vert \xi \vert}}\), where \(\xi\) is the spatial frequency of the normal mode. A Fourier synthesis of these normal mode solutions allows us to construct solutions that grow arbitrarily quickly in the Sobolev space \(H^k\), which leads to an ill-posedness result for the linearized problem. Using these pathological solutions, we then demonstrate ill-posedness for the original non-linear problem in an appropriate sense. More precisely, we use a contradiction argument to show that the non-linear problem does not admit reasonable estimates of solutions for small time in terms of the initial data.


S. Serfaty, I. Tice. Lorentz space estimates for the Coulombian renormalized energy. Commun. Contemp. Math. 14 (2011), no. 4, 1250027, 23 pp.

Abstract:  In this paper we obtain optimal estimates for the "currents" associated to point masses in the plane, in terms of the Coulombian renormalized energy of Sandier-Serfaty. To derive the estimates, we use a technique that we introduced in a previous paper, which couples the "ball construction method" to estimates in the Lorentz space \(L^{2,\infty}\).


S. Serfaty, I. Tice. Ginzburg-Landau vortex dynamics with pinning and strong applied currents. Arch. Ration. Mech. Anal. 201 (2011), no. 2, 413-464.

Abstract:  We study a mixed heat and Schrodinger Ginzburg-Landau evolution equation on a bounded two-dimensional domain with an electric current applied on the boundary and a pinning potential term. This is meant to model a superconductor subjected to an applied electric current and electromagnetic field and containing impurities. Such a current is expected to set the vortices in motion, while the pinning term drives them toward minima of the pinning potential and "pins" them there. We derive the limiting dynamics of a finite number of vortices in the limit of a large Ginzburg-Landau parameter, or \(\varepsilon \to 0\), when the intensity of the electric current and applied magnetic field on the boundary scale like \(\log(1/\varepsilon)\). We show that the limiting velocity of the vortices is the sum of a Lorentz force, due to the current, and a pinning force. We state an analogous result for a model Ginzburg-Landau equation without magnetic field but with forcing terms. Our proof provides a unified approach to various proofs of dynamics of Ginzburg-Landau vortices.


Y. Guo, I. Tice. Linear Rayleigh-Taylor instability for viscous, compressible fluids. SIAM J. Math. Anal. 42 (2010), no. 4, 1688-1720.

Abstract:  We study the equations obtained from linearizing the compressible Navier-Stokes equations around a steady-state profile with a heavier fluid lying above a lighter fluid along a planar interface, i.e. a Rayleigh-Taylor instability. We consider the equations with or without surface tension, with the viscosity allowed to depend on the density, and in both periodic and non-periodic settings. In the presence of viscosity there is no natural variational framework for constructing growing mode solutions to the linearized problem. We develop a general method of studying a family of modified variational problems in order to produce maximal growing modes. Using these growing modes, we construct smooth (when restricted to each fluid domain) solutions to the linear equations that grow exponentially in time in Sobolev spaces. We then prove an estimate for arbitrary solutions to the linearized equations in terms of the fastest possible growth rate for the growing modes. In the periodic setting, we show that sufficiently small periodicity avoids instability in the presence of surface tension.


I. Tice. Ginzburg-Landau vortex dynamics driven by an applied boundary current. Comm. Pure Appl. Math. 63 (2010), no. 12, 1622-1676.

Abstract:  In this paper we study the time-dependent Ginzburg-Landau equations on a smooth, bounded domain \(\Omega \subset \mathbb{R}^{2}\), subject to an electrical current applied on the boundary. The dynamics with an applied current are non-dissipative, but via the identification of a special structure in an interaction energy, we are able to derive a precise upper bound for the energy growth. We then turn to the study of the dynamics of the vortices of the solutions in the limit \(\varepsilon \to 0\). We first consider the original time scale, in which the vortices do not move and the solutions undergo a "phase relaxation." Then we study an accelerated time scale in which the vortices move according to a derived dynamical law. In the dynamical law, we identify a novel Lorentz force term induced by the applied boundary current.


I. Tice. Lorentz space estimates and Jacobian convergence for the Ginzburg-Landau energy with applied magnetic field. J. Anal. Math. 106 (2008), 129-190.

Abstract:  In this paper we continue the study of Lorentz space estimates for the Ginzburg-Landau energy started in a previous paper. We focus on getting estimates for the Ginzburg-Landau energy with external magnetic field \(h_{ex}\) in certain interesting regimes of \(h_{ex}\). This allows us to show that for configurations close to minimizers or local minimizers of the energy, the vorticity mass of the configuration \((u,A)\) is comparable to the \(L^{2,\infty}\) Lorentz space norm of \(\nabla_A u\). We also establish convergence of the gauge-invariant Jacobians (vorticity measures) in the dual of a function space defined in terms of Lorentz spaces.


S. Serfaty, I. Tice. Lorentz space estimates for the Ginzburg-Landau energy. J. Funct. Anal. 254 (2008), no. 3, 773-825.

Abstract:  In this paper we prove novel lower bounds for the Ginzburg-Landau energy with or without magnetic field. These bounds rely on an improvement of the "vortex balls construction" estimates by extracting a new positive term in the energy lower bounds. This extra term can be conveniently estimated through a Lorentz space norm, on which it thus provides an upper bound. The Lorentz space \(L^{2,\infty}\) we use is critical with respect to the expected vortex profiles and can serve to estimate the total number of vortices and get improved convergence results.