Multiphase wavetrains, singular wave interactions and the emergence of the Korteweg–de Vries equation

Ratliff, Daniel and Bridges, Thomas J. (2016) Multiphase wavetrains, singular wave interactions and the emergence of the Korteweg–de Vries equation. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 472 (2196). p. 20160456. ISSN 1364-5021

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Multiphase wavetrains are multiperiodic travelling waves with a set of distinct wavenumbers and distinct frequencies. In conservative systems, such families are associated with the conservation of wave action or other conservation law. At generic points (where the Jacobian of the wave action flux is non-degenerate), modulation of the wavetrain leads to the dispersionless multiphase conservation of wave action. The main result of this paper is that modulation of the multiphase wavetrain, when the Jacobian of the wave action flux vector is singular, morphs the vector-valued conservation law into the scalar Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) equation. The coefficients in the emergent KdV equation have a geometrical interpretation in terms of projection of the vector components of the conservation law. The theory herein is restricted to two phases to simplify presentation, with extensions to any finite dimension discussed in the concluding remarks. Two applications of the theory are presented: a coupled nonlinear Schrödinger equation and two-layer shallow-water hydrodynamics with a free surface. Both have two-phase solutions where criticality and the properties of the emergent KdV equation can be determined analytically.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: nonlinear waves, wave action, modulation
Subjects: G100 Mathematics
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 14 Aug 2020 14:19
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 12:17

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