Spectral bifurcations in dispersive wave turbulence

David Cai, Andrew J. Majda, David W. McLaughlin, Esteban G. Tabak

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Dispersive wave turbulence is studied numerically for a class of one- dimensional nonlinear wave equations. Both deterministic and random (white noise in time) forcings are studied. Four distinct stable spectra are observed - the direct and inverse cascades of weak turbulence (WT) theory, thermal equilibrium, and a fourth spectrum (MMT; Majda, McLaughlin, Tabak). Each spectrum car describe long-time behavior, and each can be only metastable (with quite diverse lifetimes) - depending on details of nonlinearity, forcing, and dissipation. Cases of a long-lived MMT transient state decaying to a state with WT spectra, and vice-versa, are displayed. In the case of freely decaying turbulence, without forcing, both cascades of weak turbulence are observed. These WT states constitute the clearest and most striking numerical observations of WT spectra to date - over four decades of energy, and three decades of spatial, scales. Numerical experiments that study details of the composition, coexistence, and transition between spectra are then discussed, including: (i) for deterministic forcing, sharp distinctions between focusing and defocusing nonlinearities, including the role of long wavelength instabilities, localized coherent structures, and chaotic behavior; (ii) the role of energy growth in time to monitor the selection of MMT or WT spectra; (iii) a second manifestation of the MMT spectrum as it describes a self-similar evolution of the wave, without temporal averaging; (iv) coherent structures and the evolution of the direct and inverse cascades; and (v) nonlocality (in k- space) in the transferral process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14216-14221
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number25
StatePublished - Dec 7 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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