Asymptotic stability of critical pulled fronts via resolvent expansions near the essential spectrum

Montie Avery, Arnd Scheel

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5 Scopus citations


We study nonlinear stability of pulled fronts in scalar parabolic equations on the real line of arbitrary order, under conceptual assumptions on existence and spectral stability of fronts. In this general setting, we establish sharp algebraic decay rates and temporal asymptotics of perturbations to the front. Some of these results are known for the specific example of the Fisher-KPP equation, and our results can thus be viewed as establishing universality of some aspects of this simple model. We also give a precise description of how the spatial localization of perturbations to the front affects the temporal decay rate, across the full range of localizations for which asymptotic stability holds. Technically, our approach is based on a detailed study of the resolvent operator for the linearized problem, through which we obtain sharp linear time decay estimates that allow for a direct nonlinear analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2206-2242
Number of pages37
JournalSIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 19 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
∗Received by the editors June 8, 2020; accepted for publication (in revised form) December 14, 2020; published electronically April 19, 2021. Funding: The work of the authors was supported by the National Science Foundation through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program under grant 00074041, as well as through grant DMS-1907391. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. †School of Mathematics, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 USA (avery142@,

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  • Nonlinear stability
  • Pulled fronts
  • Resolvent expansions
  • Traveling waves


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