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The Maslov index and the spectrum of differential operators Latushkin, Yuri


This is a joint work with M. Beck, G. Cox, C. Jones, R. Marangell, K. McQuighan, A. Sukhtayev, and S. Sukhtaiev. In this talk we discuss some recent results on connections between the Maslov and the Morse indices for differential operators. The Morse index is a spectral quantity defined as the number of negative eigenvalues counting multiplicities while the Maslov index is a geometric characteristic defined as the signed number of intersections of a path in the space of Lagrangian planes with the train of a given plane. The problem of relating these two quantities is rooted in Sturm's Theory and has a long history going back to the classical work by Arnold, Bott, Duistermaat, Smale, and has attracted recent attention of several groups of mathematicians. We will briefly mention how the relation between the two indices helps to prove the conjecture that a pulse in a gradient system of reaction diffusion equations is unstable. We will also discuss a fairly general theorem relating the indices for a broad class of multidimensional elliptic self-adjoint operators.

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