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I am trying to derive a variational formulation for the following problem $$\left\{ \begin{array}{ll} \Delta^2u=f, & \Omega \\ \Delta u+\rho \partial_{\nu}u=0, & \partial \Omega \end{array}\right.$$

where $\rho>0$ is constant. I intend to show that the right functional setting is $H^2(\Omega)\cap H^1_0(\Omega)$ and to prove that the resulting problem is well posed.

I am confused as to how to establish the right functional setting, so for a start I choose $C_0^2(\Omega)$ as a space of test functions (functions in $C^2(\Omega)$ compactly supported in $\Omega$) so that the boundary condition makes sense.

Multiplying the equation by $v\in C_0^2(\Omega)$ and integrating over $\Omega$ we obtain $$\int_{\Omega} \Delta^2u\cdot v\,dx=\int_{\Omega} fv\,dx$$

and now integrating by parts (Green's formula) twice on the left hand side we obtain

\begin{eqnarray*} \int_{\Omega} \Delta^2u\cdot v\,dx &=& \int_{\Omega} div \nabla \Delta u)\,dx \stackrel{Green}{=} \int_{\partial \Omega} \partial_{\nu}(\Delta u)v\,d\sigma- \int_{\Omega} \nabla \Delta u\cdot \nabla v \,dx \\ &\stackrel{Green}{=}& \int_{\partial \Omega} \partial_{\nu}(\Delta u)v\,d\sigma - \int_{\partial \Omega} \Delta u\cdot \partial_{\nu}v\,d\sigma + \int_{\Omega} \Delta u\cdot \Delta v\,dx \\ &=& \int_{\partial \Omega} \partial_{\nu}(\Delta u)v\,d\sigma + \int_{\partial \Omega} \rho \partial_{\nu}u \cdot \partial_{\nu}v\,d\sigma + \int_{\Omega} \Delta u\cdot \Delta v\,dx \end{eqnarray*}

where in the last equality I use the boundary condition. Now, enlarging the space of test functions by taking the closure of $C_0^2(\Omega)$ in $H^2(\Omega)$, namely $H_0^2(\Omega)\subset H_0^1(\Omega)\cap H^2(\Omega)$ the first integral vanishes (v has zero trace) so our variational formulation is $$\int_{\partial \Omega} \rho \partial_{\nu}u \cdot \partial_{\nu}v\,d\sigma + \int_{\Omega} \Delta u\cdot \Delta v\,dx=\int_{\Omega} fv\,dx$$

How can I rigorously conclude that I need to take the whole $H_0^1(\Omega)\cap H^2(\Omega)$ as my space of test functions?

In order to prove that the problem is well posed I intend to use Lax-Milgram theorem as usual, but I am confused as to how to tackle the integral over $\partial \Omega$. I define a bilinear form $$B(u,v)=\int_{\partial \Omega} \rho \partial_{\nu}u \cdot \partial_{\nu}v\,d\sigma + \int_{\Omega} \Delta u\cdot \Delta v\,dx$$ and I want to check continuity and coercitivity. For the first one I have $$|B(u,v)|\leq \int_{\partial \Omega} \rho |\partial_{\nu}u \cdot \partial_{\nu}v|\,d\sigma + \int_{\Omega} |\Delta u\cdot \Delta v|\,dx$$

For the second integral we have $$\int_{\Omega} |\Delta u\cdot \Delta v|\,dx\leq ||\Delta u||_0||\Delta v||_0\leq ||u||_{H^2(\Omega)} ||v||_{H^2(\Omega)}$$ but what about the first one?

Thanks in advance for any insight.

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

See for an explanation.

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