Weierstraß-Institut für Angewandte Analysis und Stochastik Passing to the limit in a Wasserstein gradient flow: From diffusion to reaction
Mathematics Subject Classification. 35K67
We study a singular-limit problem arising in the modelling of chemical reactions. At finite ε > 0, the system is described by a Fokker-Planck convection-diffusion equation with a double-well convection potential. This potential is scaled by 1/ε, and in the limit ε → 0, the solution concentrates onto the two wells, resulting into a limiting system that is a pair of ordinary differential equations for the density at the two wells. This convergence has been proved in Peletier, Savaré, and
... avaré, and Veneroni, SIAM Journal on Mathematical Analysis , 42(4):1805-1825, 2010, using the linear structure of the equation. In this paper we reprove the result by using solely the Wasserstein gradient-flow structure of the system. In particular we make no use of the linearity, nor of the fact that it is a second-order system. The first key step in this approach is a reformulation of the equation as the minimization of an action functional that captures the propety of being a curve of maximal slope in an integrated form. The second important step is a rescaling of space. Using only the Wasserstein gradient-flow structure, we prove that the sequence of rescaled solutions is pre-compact in an appropriate topology. We then prove a Gamma-convergence result for the functional in this topology, and we identify the limiting functional and the differential equation that it represents. A consequence of these results is that solutions of the ε-problem converge to a solution of the limiting problem.