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Wave energy harvesting could be a substantial renewable energy source without impact on the global climate and ecology, yet practical attempts have struggled with the problems of wear and catastrophic failure. An innovative technology for ocean wave energy harvesting was recently proposed, based on the use of soft capacitors. This study presents a realistic theoretical and numerical model for the quantitative characterization of this harvesting method. Parameter regions with optimal behavior are found, and novel material descriptors are determined, which dramatically simplify analysis. The characteristics of currently available materials are evaluated, and found to merit a very conservative estimate of 10 years for raw material cost recovery.

In the present work, we study wave phenomena in strongly nonlinear lattices. Such lattices are characterized by the absence of classical linear waves. We demonstrate that compactons – strongly localized solitary waves with tails decaying faster than exponential – exist and that they play a major role in the dynamics of the system under consideration. We investigate compactons in different physical setups. One part deals with lattices of dispersively coupled limit cycle oscillators which find various applications in natural sciences such as Josephson junction arrays or coupled Ginzburg-Landau equations. Another part deals with Hamiltonian lattices. Here, a prominent example in which compactons can be found is the granular chain. In the third part, we study systems which are related to the discrete nonlinear Schrödinger equation describing, for example, coupled optical wave-guides or the dynamics of Bose-Einstein condensates in optical lattices. Our investigations are based on a numerical method to solve the traveling wave equation. This results in a quasi-exact solution (up to numerical errors) which is the compacton. Another ansatz which is employed throughout this work is the quasi-continuous approximation where the lattice is described by a continuous medium. Here, compactons are found analytically, but they are defined on a truly compact support. Remarkably, both ways give similar qualitative and quantitative results. Additionally, we study the dynamical properties of compactons by means of numerical simulation of the lattice equations. Especially, we concentrate on their emergence from physically realizable initial conditions as well as on their stability due to collisions. We show that the collisions are not exactly elastic but that a small part of the energy remains at the location of the collision. In finite lattices, this remaining part will then trigger a multiple scattering process resulting in a chaotic state.

We study properties of chaos in generic one-dimensional nonlinear Hamiltonian lattices comprised of weakly coupled nonlinear oscillators by numerical simulations of continuous-time systems and symplectic maps. For small coupling, the measure of chaos is found to be proportional to the coupling strength and lattice length, with the typical maximal Lyapunov exponent being proportional to the square root of coupling. This strong chaos appears as a result of triplet resonances between nearby modes. In addition to strong chaos we observe a weakly chaotic component having much smaller Lyapunov exponent, the measure of which drops approximately as a square of the coupling strength down to smallest couplings we were able to reach. We argue that this weak chaos is linked to the regime of fast Arnold diffusion discussed by Chirikov and Vecheslavov. In disordered lattices of large size we find a subdiffusive spreading of initially localized wave packets over larger and larger number of modes. The relations between the exponent of this spreading and the exponent in the dependence of the fast Arnold diffusion on coupling strength are analyzed. We also trace parallels between the slow spreading of chaos and deterministic rheology.

We study localized traveling waves and chaotic states in strongly nonlinear one-dimensional Hamiltonian lattices. We show that the solitary waves are superexponentially localized and present an accurate numerical method allowing one to find them for an arbitrary nonlinearity index. Compactons evolve from rather general initially localized perturbations and collide nearly elastically. Nevertheless, on a long time scale for finite lattices an extensive chaotic state is generally observed. Because of the system's scaling, these dynamical properties are valid for any energy.

We study numerically how the energy spreads over a finite disordered nonlinear one-dimensional lattice, where all linear modes are exponentially localized by disorder. We establish emergence of dynamical thermalization characterized as an ergodic chaotic dynamical state with a Gibbs distribution over the modes. Our results show that the fraction of thermalizing modes is finite and grows with the nonlinearity strength.

We present a nonparametric way to retrieve an additive system of differential equations in embedding space from a single time series. These equations can be treated with dynamical systems theory and allow for long-term predictions. We apply our method to a modified chaotic Chua oscillator in order to demonstrate its potential

To characterize a destruction of Anderson localization by nonlinearity, we study the spreading behavior of initially localized states in disordered, strongly nonlinear lattices. Due to chaotic nonlinear interaction of localized linear or nonlinear modes, energy spreads nearly subdiffusively. Based on a phenomenological description by virtue of a nonlinear diffusion equation, we establish a one-parameter scaling relation between the velocity of spreading and the density, which is confirmed numerically. From this scaling it follows that for very low densities the spreading slows down compared to the pure power law.