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Existence and symmetry breaking results for positive solutions of elliptic Hamiltonian systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 April 2024

Abbas Moameni*
School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada e-mail:
Kok Lin Wong
School of Mathematics and Statistics, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON, Canada e-mail:


In this paper, we are interested in positive solutions of

$$ \begin{align*}\left\{ \begin{array}{@{}ll} -\Delta u = a(x)v^{p-1}, \quad &\text{ in } \Omega,\\ -\Delta v = b(x)u^{q-1}, \quad &\text{ in } \Omega,\\ u,v>0, \quad &\text{ in } \Omega,\\ u=v=0, \quad &\text{ on } \partial\Omega, \end{array} \right. \end{align*} $$
where $\Omega $ is a bounded annular domain (not necessarily an annulus) in ${\mathbb {R}}^N (N \ge 3)$ and $ a(x), b(x)$ are positive continuous functions. We show the existence of a positive solution for a range of supercritical values of p and q when the problem enjoys certain mild symmetry and monotonicity conditions. We shall also address the symmetry breaking phenomena where the system is fully symmetric. Indeed, as a consequence of our results, we shall show that problem (1) has $\Bigl \lfloor \frac {N}{2} \Bigr \rfloor $ (the floor of $\frac {N}{2}$) positive non-radial solutions when $ a(x)=b(x)=1$ and $\Omega $ is an annulus with certain assumptions on the radii. In general, for the radial case where the domain is an annulus, we prove the existence of a non-radial solution provided
$$ \begin{align*}(p-1)(q-1)> \Big(1+\frac{2N}{\lambda_H}\Big)^2\left(\frac{q}{p}\right),\end{align*} $$
where $\lambda _H$ is the best constant for the Hardy inequality on $\Omega .$ We remark that the best constant $\lambda _H$ for the Hardy inequality is just the characteristic of the domain, and is independent of the choices of p and $q.$ For this reason, the aforementioned inequality plays a major role to prove the existence and multiplicity of non-radial solutions when the problem is fully symmetric. Our proofs use a variational formulation on appropriate convex subsets for which the lack of compactness is recovered for the supercritical problem.

© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Canadian Mathematical Society

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A.M. is pleased to acknowledge the support of the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.


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