An Instability Criterion for Nonlinear Standing Waves on Nonzero Backgrounds

R. K. Jackson, R. Marangell, H. Susanto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A nonlinear Schrödinger equation with repulsive (defocusing) nonlinearity is considered. As an example, a system with a spatially varying coefficient of the nonlinear term is studied. The nonlinearity is chosen to be repelling except on a finite interval. Localized standing wave solutions on a non-zero background, e.g., dark solitons trapped by the inhomogeneity, are identified and studied. A novel instability criterion for such states is established through a topological argument. This allows instability to be determined quickly in many cases by considering simple geometric properties of the standing waves as viewed in the composite phase plane. Numerical calculations accompany the analytical results.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)1177-1196
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Nonlinear Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2014


  • Localized solutions
  • Phase portraits
  • Schrödinger equations
  • Solitons


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