Proof of modulational instability of Stokes waves

Proof of modulational instability of Stokes waves

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Huy Q. Nguyen, Brown University

Zoom link: https://princeton.zoom.us/j/9148065146

It is proven that small-amplitude steady periodic water waves with infinite depth are unstable under perturbations that change the period. This modulational instability was first observed more than half a century ago by Benjamin and Feir. It has never been proven rigorously except in the case of finite depth. We provide a completely different and self-contained approach to prove the spectral modulational instability for water waves in both the finite and infinite depth cases. This is joint work with W. Strauss.