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Published May 14, 2014 | Published
Journal Article Open

Solitary waves in a chain of repelling magnets


We study experimentally, numerically, and theoretically the dynamics of a one dimensional array of repelling magnets. We demonstrate that such systems support solitary waves with a profile and propagation speed that depend on the amplitude. The system belongs to the kind of nonlinear lattices studied in [Friesecke and Matthies, Physica D 171, 211–220 (2002)] and exhibits a sech^2 profile in the low energy regime and atomic scale localization in the high energy regime. Such systems may find potential applications in the design of novel devices for shock absorption, energy localization and focusing. Furthermore, due to the similarity of the magnetic potential with the potentials governing atomic forces, the system could be used for a better understanding of important problems in physics and chemistry.

Additional Information

© 2014 American Institute of Physics Publishing LLC. Received 05 March 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published online 08 May 2014. This work was supported by the Army Research Office MURI, Project No. W911NF0910436.

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