Bendixson–Dulac theorem

In mathematics, the Bendixson–Dulac theorem on dynamical systems states that if there exists a function (called the Dulac function) such that the expression

According to Dulac theorem any 2D autonomous system with a periodic orbit has a region with positive and a region with negative divergence inside such orbit. Here represented by red and green regions respectively

has the same sign () almost everywhere in a simply connected region of the plane, then the plane autonomous system

has no nonconstant periodic solutions lying entirely within the region.[1] "Almost everywhere" means everywhere except possibly in a set of measure 0, such as a point or line.

The theorem was first established by Swedish mathematician Ivar Bendixson in 1901 and further refined by French mathematician Henri Dulac in 1933 using Green's theorem.


Without loss of generality, let there exist a function   such that


in simply connected region  . Let   be a closed trajectory of the plane autonomous system in  . Let   be the interior of  . Then by Green's theorem,


Because of the constant sign, the left-hand integral in the previous line must evaluate to a positive number. But on  ,   and  , so the bottom integrand is in fact 0 everywhere and for this reason the right-hand integral evaluates to 0. This is a contradiction, so there can be no such closed trajectory  .


Henri Dulac (1870-1955) was a French mathematician from Fayence

  1. ^ Burton, Theodore Allen (2005). Volterra Integral and Differential Equations. Elsevier. p. 318. ISBN 9780444517869.