06-242 Thierry Gallay and Mariana Haragus
Stability of small periodic waves for the nonlinear Schr dinger equation (400K, PDF) Sep 1, 06
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Abstract. The nonlinear Schr dinger equation possesses three distinct six-parameter families of complex-valued quasi-periodic travelling waves, one in the defocusing case and two in the focusing case. All these solutions have the property that their modulus is a periodic function of $x-ct$ for some real $c$. In this paper we investigate the stability of the small amplitude travelling waves, both in the defocusing and the focusing case. Our first result shows that these waves are orbitally stable within the class of solutions which have the same period and the same Floquet exponent as the original wave. Next, we consider general bounded perturbations and focus on spectral stability. We show that the small amplitude travelling waves are stable in the defocusing case, but unstable in the focusing case. The instability is of side-band type, and therefore cannot be detected in the periodic set-up used for the analysis of orbital stability.

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