Observations of breather solitons in a nonlinear vibratory lattice
Atchley, Mary L.
Denardo, Bruce C.
Garrett, Steven L.
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Experimental, numerical, and analytical investigations of steady-state upper cutoff breather solitons in a one-dimensional lattice of coupled nonlinear oscillators are reported. These states are self-localized standing wave structures that can be considered as amplitude modulations of the upper cutoff mode, in which each oscillator is 1800 out-of-phase with its immediate neighbors. The observation of the upper cutoff breather follows observations by previous investigators of the three other types of cutoff solitons: lower cutoff breathers, and lower and upper cutoff kinks. The experimental system is a lattice of magnetically coupled pendulums that is oscillated vertically. Numerical simulations are made in a lattice that approximately models the actual lattice. The structures are analytically described by a solution to a nonlinear Schr6dinger equation supplemented with zero and second harmonics. The harmonic terms produce an antisymmetry in the breather amplitude profile that is noticeable in the experimental data and can be extreme in the numerical simulations. The theory completely fails in the extreme case, although the breather continues to exist.
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