A revisit to higher variations of a functional

  • Guobin Gong Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University
  • J. Xia


Two definitions of higher variations of a functional can be found in
the literature of variational principles or calculus of variations, which differ by
only a positive coefficient number. At first glance, such a discrepancy between
the two definitions seems to be purely due to a definition-style preference,
as when they degenerate to the first variation it leads to the same result.
The use of higher (especially second) variations of a functional is for checking
the sufficient condition for the functional to be a minimum (or maximum),
and both definitions also lead to the same conclusion regarding this aspect.
However, a close theoretical study in this paper shows that only one of the
two definitions is appropriate and the other is advised to be discarded. A
theoretical method is developed to derive the expressions for higher variations
of a functional, which is used for the above claim.


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Author Biography

J. Xia

111 Ren’ai Road, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China


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How to Cite
Gong, G., & Xia, J. (2019). A revisit to higher variations of a functional. Journal of Advance Research in Mathematics And Statistics (ISSN: 2208-2409), 6(2), 01-15. Retrieved from https://jiaats.com/ojs31/index.php/ms/article/view/962