Krein signatures for the faddeev-takhtajan eigenvalue problem

Jared C Bronski, Mathew A. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


One of the difficulties in analyzing eigenvalue problems that arise in connection with integrable systems is that they are frequently non-self-adjoint, making it difficult to determine where the spectrum lies. In this paper, we consider the problem of locating and counting the discrete eigenvalues associated with the Faddeev-Takhtajan eigenvalue problem, for which the sine-Gordon equation is the isospectral flow. In particular we show that for potentials having either zero topological charge or topological charge ± 1, and satisfying certain monotonicity conditions, the point spectrum lies on the unit circle and is simple. Furthermore, we give an exact count of the number of eigenvalues. This result is an analog of that of Klaus and Shaw for the Zakharov-Shabat eigenvalue problem. We also relate our results, as well as those of Klaus and Shaw, to the Krein stability theory for J-unitary matrices. In particular we show that the eigenvalue problem associated to the sine-Gordon equation has a J-unitary structure, and under the above conditions the point eigenvalues have a definite Krein signature, and are thus simple and lie on the unit circle.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)821-846
Number of pages26
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

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