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Zakharov V. E. and L. A. Ostrovsky (March 2009): Modulation instability: The beginning. Physica D, 238 (5), 540-548. doi:10.1016/j.physd.2008.12.002

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We discuss the early history of an important field of “sturm and drang” in modern theory of nonlinear waves. It is demonstrated how scientific demand resulted in independent and almost simultaneous publications by many different authors on modulation instability, a phenomenon resulting in a variety of nonlinear processes such as envelope solitons, envelope shocks, freak waves, etc. Examples from water wave hydrodynamics, electrodynamics, nonlinear optics, and convection theory are given.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: PSD Publications
Divisions: Physical Sciences Division
DOI: 10.1016/j.physd.2008.12.002