Dynamical Systems Seminars

Spring 2015

The Dynamical Systems seminar is held on Monday afternoon at 4:00 PM in MCS 148. Tea beforehand at 3:45 PM in MCS 153.

- February 9: Blake Barker (Brown)

Title: Toward rigorous verification of the stability of traveling waves

Abstract: We discuss various aspects of numerical stability analysis of traveling wave solutions with a particular eye toward the development of guaranteed error bounds. In particular, we consider the stability of periodic traveling waves of the generalized Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation in the limit the diffusion coefficient goes to zero, or the Korteweg-de Vries limit. For a large class of physically relevant problems, nonlinear stability of traveling waves is determined by spectral stability. Often, the spectral stability problem must be studied numerically because current analytical approaches do not suffice. Using error bounds and interval arithmetic provides a way to rigorously verify spectral stability numerically. Such numerical verification often leads to problem dependent challenges. We describe our success and ongoing efforts at carrying out this type of numerical analysis. - February 23: Oliver
Knill (Harvard)

Title: Birkhoff sums over the golden rotation

Abstract: We look at Birkhoff sums S_n(t)/n=sum_{k=1}^n X_k(t)/n with X_k(t)=g(T^kt) where T is the irrational golden rotation and where g(t)=cot(pi t). Similar sums have been studied by number theorists like Hardy and Littlewood or Sinai and Ulcigrain in the context of the curlicue problem. Birkhoff sums can be visualized if the time interval [0,n] is rescaled so that it displays a graph over the interval [0,1]. While for any L^1 function g(t) and ergodic T, the sum S_[n x](t)/n converges a.e. to a linear function Mx by Birkhoff's ergodic theorem, there is an interesting phenomenon for Cauchy distributed random variables like if g(t) = cot(pi t) The function x -> S_[n x]/n on [0,1] converges for n -> infinity to an explicitly given fractal limiting function, if n is restricted to Fibonacci numbers F(2n) and if the start point t is 0. The convergence to the ``golden graph" shows a truly self-similar random walk. It explains some observations obtained together with John Lesieutre and Folkert Tangerman, where we summed the anti derivative G of g which is the Hilbert transform of a piecewise linear periodic function. Birkhoff sums are relevant in KAM contexts, both in analytic and smooth situations or in Denjoy-Koksma theory which is a refinement of Birkhoff for Diophantine irrational rotations. In a probabilistic context, we have a discrete time stochastic process modeling ``high risk" situations as hitting a point near the singularity catastrophically changes the sum. Diophantine conditions assure that there is enough time to ``recover" from such a catastrophe. There are other connections like with modular functions in number theory or Milnor's theorem telling that the cot function is the unique non constant solution to the Kubert relation (1/n) sum_{k=1}^n g(t+k/n) = g(t). - March 2: Yuri Latushkin
(Missouri)

Title: The Morse and Maslov indices for multidimensional differential operators.

Abstract: In this talk we will discuss some recent results on connections between the Maslov and the Morse indices for differential operators. The Morse index is a spectral quantity defined as the number of unstable eigenvalues counting multiplicities while the Maslov index is a geometric characteristic defined as the signed number of intersections of a path in the space of Lagrangian planes with the train of a given plane. The problem of relating these two quantities is rooted in Sturm's Theory and has a long history going back to the classical work by Arnold, Bott, Duistermaat and Smale. Two situations will be addressed: First, the case when the differential operator is a Schroedinger operator equipped with theta-periodic boundary conditions, and second, when the Schroedinger operators are acting on a family of multidimensional domains obtained by shrinking a star-shaped domain to a point and are equipped with either Dirichlet or quite general Robbin boundary conditions. This is a joint work with G. Cox, C. Jones, R. Marangell, A. Sukhtayev, and S. Sukhtaiev. - March 16: Panayotis G. Kevrekidis (UMass, Amherst)
- March 23:
- March 30: David Lipshutz (Brown)
- April 6: Björn de
Rijk (Leiden)

Title: Fine structure of the boundary of the Busse balloon beyond Gierer-Meinhardt

Abstract: The Busse balloon is the region in (wavenumber, parameter)-space for which stable spatially periodic patterns exist. It has been observed analytically in the Gierer-Meinhardt equation that the boundary of the Busse balloon in the small wavenumber limit is non-smooth and has a fine-structure of intertwining curves that represent two kinds of Hopf bifurcations. Moreover, the Busse Balloon has a 'homoclinic tip' at which the last periodic patterns to become unstable have wave number k = 0. Are these phenomena reserved for Gierer-Meinhardt type of models only? To answer this question we have extended the existing stability theory significantly to a general class of singularly perturbed reaction-diffusion systems. In this talk I will explain how this novel theory can be applied to find out whether these phenomena persist.

- April 13: Scott Sutherland (Stony Brook)
- April 27: John Gemmer (Brown)