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VOLUME 92 (2010) | ISSUE 6 | PAGE 405
q-Breathers and thermalization in acoustic chains with arbitrary nonlinearity index
Nonlinearity shapes lattice dynamics affecting vibrational spectrum, transport and thermalization phenomena. Beside breathers and solitons one finds the third fundamental class of nonlinear modes - q-breathers - periodic orbits in nonlinear lattices, exponentially localized in the reciprocal mode space. To date, the studies of q-breathers have been confined to the cubic and quartic nonlinearity in the interaction potential. In this paper we study the case of arbitrary nonlinearity index γ in an acoustic chain. We uncover qualitative difference in the scaling of delocalization and stability thresholds of q-breathers with the system size: there exists a critical index γ*=6, below which both thresholds (in nonlinearity strength) tend to zero, and diverge when above. We also demonstrate that this critical index value is decisive for the presence or absense of thermalization. For a generic interaction potential the mode space localized dynamics is determined only by the three lowest order nonlinear terms in the power series expansion.