Marian Gidea, Clark Robinson
Diffusion along transition chains of invariant tori and Aubry-Mather sets
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ABSTRACT. We describe a topological mechanism for the existence of diffusing orbits in a dynamical system satisfying the following assumptions: (i) the phase space contains a normally hyperbolic invariant manifold diffeomorphic to a two-dimensional annulus, (ii) the restriction of the dynamics to the annulus is an area preserving monotone twist map, (iii) the annulus contains sequences of invariant tori that form transition chains, i.e., the unstable manifold of each torus has a topologically transverse intersection with the stable manifold of the next torus in the sequence, (iv) the transition chains of tori are interspersed with gaps created by resonances, (v) within each gap there is a designated, finite collection of Aubry-Mather sets. Under these assumptions, there exist trajectories that follow the transition chains, cross over the gaps, and follow the Aubry-Mather sets within each gap, in any prescribed order. This mechanism is related to the Arnold diffusion problem in Hamiltonian system. In particular, we prove the existence of diffusing trajectories in the large gap problem of Hamiltonian systems. The argument is topological and constructive.