Transient and chaotic low-energy transfers in a system with bistable nonlinearity

F. Romeo, L. I. Manevitch, L. A. Bergman, A. Vakakis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The low-energy dynamics of a two-dof system composed of a grounded linear oscillator coupled to a lightweight mass by means of a spring with both cubic nonlinear and negative linear components is investigated. The mechanisms leading to intense energy exchanges between the linear oscillator, excited by a low-energy impulse, and the nonlinear attachment are addressed. For lightly damped systems, it is shown that two main mechanisms arise: Aperiodic alternating in-well and cross-well oscillations of the nonlinear attachment, and secondary nonlinear beats occurring once the dynamics evolves solely in-well. The description of the former dissipative phenomenon is provided in a two-dimensional projection of the phase space, where transitions between in-well and cross-well oscillations are associated with sequences of crossings across a pseudo-separatrix. Whereas the second mechanism is described in terms of secondary limiting phase trajectories of the nonlinear attachment under certain resonance conditions. The analytical treatment of the two aformentioned low-energy transfer mechanisms relies on the reduction of the nonlinear dynamics and consequent analysis of the reduced dynamics by asymptotic techniques. Direct numerical simulations fully validate our analytical predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number053109
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Applied Mathematics


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