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Asymptotic problems for stochastic partial differential equations
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Stochastic partial differential equations (SPDEs) can be used to model systems in a wide variety of fields including physics, chemistry, and engineering. The main SPDEs of interest in this dissertation are the semilinear stochastic wave equations which model the movement of a material with constant mass density that is exposed to both determinstic and random forcing. Cerrai and Freidlin have shown that on fixed time intervals, as the mass density of the material approaches zero, the solutions of the stochastic wave equation converge uniformly to the solutions of a stochastic heat equation, in probability. This is called the Smoluchowski-Kramers approximation. In Chapter 2, we investigate some of the multi-scale behaviors that these wave equations exhibit. In particular, we show that the Freidlin-Wentzell exit place and exit time asymptotics for the stochastic wave equation in the small noise regime can be approximated by the exit place and exit time asymptotics for the stochastic heat equation. We prove that the exit time and exit place asymptotics are characterized by quantities called quasipotentials and we prove that the quasipotentials converge. We then investigate the special case where the equation has a gradient structure and show that we can explicitly solve for the quasipotentials, and that the quasipotentials for the heat equation and wave equation are equal. In Chapter 3, we study the Smoluchowski-Kramers approximation in the case where the material is electrically charged and exposed to a magnetic field. Interestingly, if the system is frictionless, then the Smoluchowski-Kramers approximation does not hold. We prove that the Smoluchowski-Kramers approximation is valid for systems exposed to both a magnetic field and friction. Notably, we prove that the solutions to the second-order equations converge to the solutions of the first-order equation in an $L^p$ sense. This strengthens previous results where convergence was proved in probability.