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A Collision of Two KdV Solitons

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Solitons from Alex Kasman
One of the great achievements of 20th century mathematics is our new understanding of nonlinear dynamics. A primary example is the soliton, which is a localized disturbance in a nonlinear wave. In this animation you see the collision of two solitons, and if you look closely you will see that the two "humps" literally bounce off of each other. The discovery of solitons has had a dramatic effect on our understanding of ocean waves, quantum physics and nonlinear differential equations in general.
These images were created by Mathematica and converted into a multi-block gif image. The function displayed is an exact solution to the KdV Equation, the first nonlinear PDE recognized as integrable.

Alex Kasman

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28 January 1998, webmaster@CRM.UMontreal.CA