Date of Award

January 2013

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Jeffrey T. Neugebauer

Department Affiliation

Mathematics and Statistics


The existence of smallest positive eigenvalues is established for the linear differential equations $u^{(4)}+\lambda_{1} q(t)u=0$ and $u^{(4)}+\lambda_{2} r(t)u=0$, $0\leq t \leq 1$, with each satisfying the boundary conditions $u(0)=u'(p)=u''(1)=u'''(1)=0$ where $1-\frac{\sqrt{3}}{3}\le p < 1$. A comparison theorem for smallest positive eigenvalues is then obtained. Using the same theorems, we will extend the problem to the fifth order via the Green's Function and again via Substitution. Applying the comparison theorems and the properties of $u_0$-positive operators to determine the existence of smallest eigenvalues. The existence of these smallest eigenvalues is then applied to characterize extremal points of the differential equation $u^{(4)} + q(t)u = 0$ satisfying boundary conditions $u(0) = u'(p) = u''(b) = u'''(b)= 0$ where $1-\frac{

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Mathematics Commons