Notions on Hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations
In this chapter we study some elementary properties of a class of hyperbolic Partial Differential Equations (PDEs). The selected aspects of the equations are those thought to be essential for the analysis of the equations of fluid flow and the implementation of numerical methods. For general background on PDEs we recommend the book by John  and particularly the one by Zachmanoglou and Thoe . The discretisation techniques studied in this book are strongly based on the underlying Physics and mathematical properties of PDEs. It is therefore justified to devote some effort to some fundamentals on PDEs. Here we deal almost exclusively with hyperbolic PDEs and hyperbolic conservation laws in particular. There are three main reasons for this: (i) The equations of compressible fluid flow reduce to hyperbolic systems, the Euler equations, when the effects of viscosity and heat conduction are neglected. (ii) Numerically, it is generally accepted that the hyperbolic terms of the PDEs of fluid flow are the terms that pose the most stringent requirements on the discretisation techniques. (iii) The theory of hyperbolic systems is much more advanced than that for more complete mathematical models, such as the Navier-Stokes equations. In addition, there has in recent years been a noticeable increase in research and development activities centred on the theme of hyperbolic problems, as these cover a wide range of areas of scientific and technological interest. A good source of up-to-date work in this field is found in the proceedings of the series of meetings on Hyperbolic Problems, see for instance , , . See also . Other relevant publications are those of Godlewski and Raviart , Hörmander  and Tveito and Winther .
KeywordsShock Wave Hyperbolic System Rarefaction Wave Riemann Problem Characteristic Speed
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