Discrete breathers in one- and two-dimensional lattices
Discrete breathers are time-periodic and spatially localised exact solutions in translationally invariant nonlinear lattices. They are generic solutions, since only moderate conditions are required for their existence. Closed analytic forms for breather solutions are generally not known. We use asymptotic methods to determine both the properties and the approximate form of discrete breather solutions in various lattices. We find the conditions for which the one-dimensional FPU chain admits breather solutions, generalising a known result for stationary breathers to include moving breathers. These conditions are verified by numerical simulations. We show that the FPU chain with quartic interaction potential supports long-lived waveforms which are combinations of a breather and a kink. The amplitude of classical monotone kinks is shown to have a nonzero minimum, whereas the amplitude of breathing-kinks can be arbitrarily small. We consider a two-dimensional FPU lattice with square rotational symmetry. An analysis to third-order in the wave amplitude is inadequate, since this leads to a partial differential equation which does not admit stable soliton solutions for the breather envelope. We overcome this by extending the analysis to higher-order, obtaining a modified partial differential equation which includes known stabilising terms. From this, we determine regions of parameter space where breather solutions are expected. Our analytic results are supported by extensive numerical simulations, which suggest that the two-dimensional square FPU lattice supports long-lived stationary and moving breather modes. We find no restriction upon the direction in which breathers can travel through the lattice. Asymptotic estimates for the breather energy confirm that there is a minimum threshold energy which must be exceeded for breathers to exist in the two-dimensional lattice. We find similar results for a two-dimensional FPU lattice with hexagonal rotational symmetry.