D.E. Pelinovsky and P.G. Kevrekidis

Dark solitons in external potentials

Z. angew. Math. Phys. 59, 559-599 (2008)

We consider the persistence and stability of dark solitons in the Gross–Pitaevskii (GP) equation with a small decaying potential. We show that families of black solitons with zero speed originate from extremal points of an appropriately defined effective potential and persist for sufficiently small strength of the potential. We prove that families at the maximum points are generally unstable with exactly one real positive eigenvalue, while families at the minimum points are generally unstable with exactly two complex-conjugated eigenvalues with positive real part. This mechanism of destabilization of the black soliton is confirmed in numerical approximations of eigenvalues of the linearized GP equation and full numerical simulations of the nonlinear GP equation. We illustrate the monotonic instability associated with the real eigenvalues and the oscillatory instability associated with the complex eigenvalues and compare the numerical results of evolution of a dark soliton with the predictions of Newton’s particle law for its position.

Dark solitions, Gross–Pitaevskii equation, persistence and stability, eigenvalues.