Instability of bound states of a nonlinear Schrödinger equation with a Dirac potential

Stefan Le Coz, Reika Fukuizumi, Gadi Fibich, Baruch Ksherim, Yonatan Sivan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


We study analytically and numerically the stability of the standing waves for a nonlinear Schrödinger equation with a point defect and a power type nonlinearity. A major difficulty is to compute the number of negative eigenvalues of the linearized operator around the standing waves. This is overcome by a perturbation method and continuation arguments. Among others, in the case of a repulsive defect, we show that the standing-wave solution is stable in Hrad1 (R) and unstable in H1 (R) under subcritical nonlinearity. Further we investigate the nature of instability: under critical or supercritical nonlinear interaction, we prove the instability by blowup in the repulsive case by showing a virial theorem and using a minimization method involving two constraints. In the subcritical radial case, unstable bound states cannot collapse, but rather narrow down until they reach the stable regime (a finite-width instability). In the nonradial repulsive case, all bound states are unstable, and the instability is manifested by a lateral drift away from the defect, sometimes in combination with a finite-width instability or a blowup instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1103-1128
Number of pages26
JournalPhysica D: Nonlinear Phenomena
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Jun 15
Externally publishedYes


  • Collapse
  • Dirac delta
  • Instability
  • Lattice defects
  • Nonlinear waves
  • Solitary waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Applied Mathematics


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