a1 The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, U.S.A.
In this paper I extend the analysis of regular problems containing the eigenvalue parameter in the boundary conditions given by Walter (1973) and myself (1977) to singular problems which involve the eigenvalue parameter linearly in a regular or a limit-circle boundary condition at the left endpoint. The formulation of the limit-circle boundary conditions follows that given in another paper by the present author in 1977, and has the advantage that a λ-dependent boundary condition at a regular endpoint becomes a special case of a λ-dependent boundary condition at a limit-circle endpoint. The simplicity of the spectrum is also built into the formulation given, and the spectral function is shown to have bounded total variation over (−∞, ∞) which is known in terms of the parameters of the λ-dependent boundary condition independently of the limit-circle/limit-point classification at the right endpoint. The theory is applied to the constant coefficient equation in [0, ∞) and the Bessel equation of order zero in (0, ∞), explicit formulae for the spectral function being obtained in each case. Finally, the question is posed as to whether the classical Weyl theory for problems not involving λ in the boundary conditions can also be formulated so as to involve spectral functions having bounded total variation.
(Received May 26 1977)
(Revised July 23 1979)