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Stability of traveling waves in a driven Frenkel-Kontorova model. (English) Zbl 1452.37079
Summary: In this work we revisit a classical problem of traveling waves in a damped Frenkel-Kontorova lattice driven by a constant external force. We compute these solutions as fixed points of a nonlinear map and obtain the corresponding kinetic relation between the driving force and the velocity of the wave for different values of the damping coefficient. We show that the kinetic curve can become non-monotone at small velocities, due to resonances with linear modes, and also at large velocities where the kinetic relation becomes multivalued. Exploring the spectral stability of the obtained waveforms, we identify, at the level of numerical accuracy of our computations, a precise criterion for instability of the traveling wave solutions: monotonically decreasing portions of the kinetic curve always bear an unstable eigendirection. We discuss why the validity of this criterion in the dissipative setting is a rather remarkable feature offering connections to the Hamiltonian variant of the model and of lattice traveling waves more generally. Our stability results are corroborated by direct numerical simulations which also reveal the possible outcomes of dynamical instabilities.
MSC:
37L60 Lattice dynamics and infinite-dimensional dissipative dynamical systems
35C07 Traveling wave solutions
35Q51 Soliton equations
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