Travelling breathers with exponentially small tails in a chain of nonlinear oscillators

G. James, Y. Sire

Laboratoire MIP (UMR 5640), Institut National des Sciences Appliquees, Departement GMM


We study the existence of travelling breathers in Klein-Gordon chains, which consist of one-dimensional networks of nonlinear oscillators in an anharmonic on-site potential, linearly coupled to their nearest neighbors. Travelling breathers are spatially localized solutions which appear time periodic in a referential in translation at constant velocity. Approximate solutions of this type have been constructed in the form of modulated plane waves, whose envelopes satisfy the nonlinear Schroedinger equation (M. Remoissenet, Phys. Rev. B 33, n.4, 2386 (1986), J. Giannoulis and A. Mielke, Nonlinearity 17, p. 551-565 (2004)). In the case of travelling waves (where the phase velocity of the plane wave equals the group velocity of the wave packet), the existence of nearby exact solutions has been proved by Iooss and Kirchgaessner, who have obtained exact solitary wave solutions superposed on an exponentially small oscillatory tail (G. Iooss, K. Kirchgaessner, Commun. Math. Phys. 211, 439-464 (2000)). However, a rigorous existence result has been lacking in the more general case when phase and group velocities are different. This situation is examined in the present talk, in a case when the breather period and the inverse of its velocity are commensurate. We show that the center manifold reduction method introduced by Iooss and Kirchgaessner is still applicable when the problem is formulated in an appropriate way. This allows us to reduce the problem locally to a finite dimensional reversible system of ordinary differential equations, whose principal part admits homoclinic solutions to quasi-periodic orbits under general conditions on the potential. For an even potential, using the additional symmetry of the system, we obtain homoclinic orbits to small periodic ones for the full reduced system. For the oscillator chain, these orbits correspond to exact small amplitude travelling breather solutions superposed on an exponentially small oscillatory tail. Their principal part (excluding the tail) coincides at leading order with the nonlinear Schroedinger approximation.