Nonlinear dispersive waves in repulsive lattices
AbstractThe propagation of nonlinear waves in a lattice of repelling particles is studied theoretically and experimentally. A simple experimental setup is proposed, consisting of an array of coupled magnetic dipoles. By driving harmonically the lattice at one boundary, we excite propagating waves and demonstrate different regimes of mode conversion into higher harmonics, strongly influenced by dispersion and discreteness. The phenomenon of acoustic dilatation of the chain is also predicted and discussed. The results are compared with the theoretical predictions of the α-Fermi-Pasta-Ulam equation, describing a chain of masses connected by nonlinear quadratic springs and numerical simulations. The results can be extrapolated to other systems described by this equation.