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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences


Publication details for Professor Emeritus Wojtek Zakrzewski

Piette, B. & Zakrzewski, W.J. (2007). Scattering of Sine-Gordon kinks on potential wells. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical 40(22): 5995-6010.

Author(s) from Durham


We study the scattering properties of sine-Gordon kinks on obstructions in the form of finite size potential 'wells'. We model this by making the coefficient of the cos(phiv) − 1 term in the Lagrangian position dependent. We show that when the kinks find themselves in the well they radiate and then interact with this radiation. As a result of this energy loss, the kinks become trapped for small velocities while at higher velocities they are transmitted with a loss of energy. However, the interaction with the radiation can produce 'unexpected' reflections by the well. We present two simple models which capture the gross features of this behaviour. Both involve standing waves either at the edges of the well or in the well itself.