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The implementation of the unified transform to the nonlinear Schrödinger equation with periodic initial conditions

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Deconinck, B 
Fokas, AS 


jats:titleAbstract</jats:title>jats:pThe unified transform method (UTM) provides a novel approach to the analysis of initial boundary value problems for linear as well as for a particular class of nonlinear partial differential equations called integrable. If the latter equations are formulated in two dimensions (either one space and one time, or two space dimensions), the UTM expresses the solution in terms of a matrix Riemann–Hilbert (RH) problem with explicit dependence on the independent variables. For nonlinear integrable evolution equations, such as the celebrated nonlinear Schrödinger (NLS) equation, the associated jump matrices are computed in terms of the initial conditions and all boundary values. The unknown boundary values are characterized in terms of the initial datum and the given boundary conditions via the analysis of the so-called global relation. In general, this analysis involves the solution of certain nonlinear equations. In certain cases, called linearizable, it is possible to bypass this nonlinear step. In these cases, the UTM solves the given initial boundary value problem with the same level of efficiency as the well-known inverse scattering transform solves the initial value problem on the infinite line. We show here that the initial boundary value problem on a finite interval with jats:italicx</jats:italic>-periodic boundary conditions (which can alternatively be viewed as the initial value problem on a circle) belongs to the linearizable class. Indeed, by employing certain transformations of the associated RH problem and by using the global relation, the relevant jump matrices can be expressed explicitly in terms of the so-called scattering data, which are computed in terms of the initial datum. Details are given for NLS, but similar considerations are valid for other well-known integrable evolution equations, including the Korteweg–de Vries (KdV) and modified KdV equations.</jats:p>


Funder: Göran Gustafssons Stiftelse för Naturvetenskaplig och Medicinsk Forskning; doi:

Funder: Ruth and Nils-Erik Stenbäck Foundation

Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council; doi:


4901 Applied Mathematics, 49 Mathematical Sciences

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Letters in Mathematical Physics

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
H2020 European Research Council (682537)
Vetenskapsrådet (2015-05430)