Topics in Nonlinear Wave Theory With Applications

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Selected topics in nonlinear wave theory are discussed and applications to the study of modulational instabilities are presented. A historical survey is given of topics relating to solitons and modulational problems. A method is then presented for generating exact periodic and quasiperiodic solutions to several nonlinear wave equations which have important physical applications. The method is then specialized for the purposes of studying the modulational instability of a plane wave solution of the nonlinear Schrodinger equation, an equation with general applicability in one dimensional modulational problems. Some numerical results obtained in conjunction with the analytic study are presented. The analytic approach explains the recurrence phenomena seen in our numerical studies, and the numerical work of other authors. The method of solution (related to the Inverse Scattering Method) is then analyzed within t􀀏e context of Hamiltonian dynamics where we show that the method can be viewed as simply a pair of canonical transformations. The Abel Transformation which appears here and in the work of other authors is shown to be a special form of Liouville's Transformation to action-angle variables. The construction of closed form solutions of these nonlinear wave equations, via the solution of Jacobi's Inversion Problem, is surveyed briefly.