The (interior) transmission eigenvalue problems are a type of non-elliptic, non-selfadjoint and nonlinear spectral problems that arise in the theory of wave scattering. They connect to the direct and inverse scattering problems in many aspects in a delicate way. The properties of the transmission eigenvalues have been extensively and intensively studied over the years, whereas the intrinsic properties of the transmission eigenfunctions are much less studied. Recently, in a series of papers, several intriguing local and global geometric structures of the transmission eigenfunctions are discovered. Moreover, those longly unveiled geometric properties produce some interesting applications of both theoretical and practical importance to direct and inverse scattering problems. This paper reviews those developments in the literature by summarizing the results obtained so far and discussing the rationales behind them. There are some side results of this paper including the general formulations of several types of transmission eigenvalue problems, some interesting observations on the connection between the transmission eigenvalue problems and several challenging inverse scattering problems, and several conjectures on the spectral properties of transmission eigenvalues and eigenfunctions, with most of them are new to the literature.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Applied Mathematics
- eigenvalues and eigenfunctions
- geometric structures; inverse problems
- spectral properties
- surface localization
- Transmission eigenvalue problem