Science and Mathematics Faculty Publications


The Stationary Equations of a Coupled Nonlinear Schroedinger System

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Physica D





First Page


Last Page



The integrable coupled nonlinear Schro¨dinger (CNLS) equations under periodic boundary conditions are known to possess linearized instabilities in both the focussing and defocussing cases [M.G. Forest, D.W. McLaughlin, D. Muraki, O.C. Wright, Non-focussing instabilities in coupled, Integrable nonlinear Schro¨dinger PDEs, in preparation; D.J. Muraki, O.C. Wright, D.W. McLaughlin, Birefringent optical fibers: Modulational instability in a near-integrable system, Nonlinear Processes in Physics: Proceedings of III Postdam-V Kiev Workshop, 1991, pp. 242–245; O.C. Wright, Modulational stability in a defocussing coupled nonlinear Schro¨dinger system, Physica D 82 (1995) 1–10], whereas the scalar NLS equation is linearly unstable only in the focussing case [M.G. Forest, J.E. Lee, Geometry and modulation theory for the periodic Schro¨dinger equation, in: Dafermas et al. (Eds.), Oscillation Theory, Computation, and Methods of Compensated Compactness, I.M.A. Math. Appl. 2 (1986) 35–70]. These instabilities indicate the presence of crossed homoclinic orbits similar to those in the phase plane of the unforced Duffing oscillator [Y. Li, D.W. McLaughlin, Morse and Melnikov functions for NLS pde’s, Commun. Math. Phys. 162 (1994) 175–214; D.W. McLaughlin, E.A. Overman, Whiskered tori for integrable Pde’s: Chaotic behaviour in near integrable Pde’s, in: Keller et al. (Eds.), Surveys in Applied Mathematics, vol. 1, Chapter 2, Plenum Press, New York, 1995]. The homoclinic orbits and the near homoclinic tori that are connected to the unstable wave trains of the NLS and the CNLS reside in the finite-dimensional phase space of certain stationary equations [S.P. Novikov, Funct. Anal. Prilozen, 8 (3) (1974) 54–66] of the infinite hierarchy of integrable commuting flows. The correct stationary equations must be matched to the unstable torus through the analytic structure of the spectral curves [O.C. Wright, Near homoclinic orbits of the focussing nonlinear Schro¨dinger equation, preprint]. Thus, in this paper, the stationary equations of the CNLS are derived and the analytic structure of the trigonal spectral curve is examined, providing a basis for further study of the near homoclinic orbits of the CNLS system.


Lax pair, Riemann surface, Integrable system, Quasiperiodic solutions, Lie algebra