PREFACE Integrability and nonlinear phenomena Integrability and nonlinear phenomena

NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

Back in 1967, Clifford Gardner, John Greene, Martin Kruskal and Robert Miura published a seminal paper in Physical Review Letters which was to become a cornerstone in the theory of integrable systems. In 2006, the authors of this paper received the AMS Steele Prize. In this award the AMS pointed out that `In applications of mathematics, solitons and their descendants (kinks, anti-kinks, instantons, and breathers) have entered and changed such diverse fields as nonlinear optics, plasma physics, and ocean, atmospheric, and planetary sciences. Nonlinearity has undergone a revolution: from a nuisance to be eliminated, to a new tool to be exploited.' From this discovery the modern theory of integrability bloomed, leading scientists to a deep understanding of many nonlinear phenomena which is by no means reachable by perturbation methods or other previous tools from linear theories. Nonlinear phenomena appear everywhere in nature, their description and understanding is therefore of great interest both from the theoretical and applicative point of view. If a nonlinear phenomenon can be represented by an integrable system then we have at our disposal a variety of tools to achieve a better mathematical description of the phenomenon. This special issue is largely dedicated to investigations of nonlinear phenomena which are related to the concept of integrability, either involving integrable systems themselves or because they use techniques from the theory of integrability. The idea of this special issue originated during the 18th edition of the Nonlinear Evolution Equations and Dynamical Systems (NEEDS) workshop, held at Isola Rossa, Sardinia, Italy, 16-23 May 2009 (http://needs-conferences.net/2009/). The issue benefits from the occasion offered by the meeting, in particular by its mini-workshops programme, and contains invited review papers and contributed papers. It is worth pointing out that there was an open call for papers and all contributions were peer reviewed according to the standards of the journal. The selection of papers in this issue aims to bring together recent developments and findings, even though it consists of only a fraction of the impressive developments in recent years which have affected a broad range of fields, including the theory of special functions, quantum integrable systems, numerical analysis, cellular automata, representations of quantum groups, symmetries of difference equations, discrete geometry, among others. The special issue begins with four review papers: Integrable models in nonlinear optics and soliton solutions Degasperis [1] reviews integrable models in nonlinear optics. He presents a number of approximate models which are integrable and illustrates the links between the mathematical and applicative aspects of the theory of integrable dynamical systems. In particular he discusses the recent impact of boomeronic-type wave equations on applications arising in the context of the resonant interaction of three waves. Hamiltonian PDEs: deformations, integrability, solutions Dubrovin [2] presents classification results for systems of nonlinear Hamiltonian partial differential equations (PDEs) in one spatial dimension. In particular he uses a perturbative approach to the theory of integrability of these systems and discusses their solutions. He conjectures universality of the critical behaviour for the solutions, where the notion of universality refers to asymptotic independence of the structure of solutions (at the point of gradient catastrophe) from the choice of generic initial data as well as from the choice of a generic PDE. KP solitons in shallow water Kodama [3] presents a survey of recent studies on soliton solutions of the Kadomtsev-Petviashvili (KP) equation. A large variety of exact soliton solutions of the KP equation are presented and classified. The study includes numerical analysis of the stability of the found solution as well as numerical simulations of the initial value problems which indicate that a certain class of initial waves approach asymptotically these exact solutions

Gómez-Ullate, David; Lombardo, Sara; Mañas, Manuel; Mazzocco, Marta; Nijhoff, Frank; Sommacal, Matteo

2010-10-01