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A general mechanism of instability in Hamiltonian systems: Skipping along a normally hyperbolic invariant manifold

  • * Corresponding author

    * Corresponding author

M.G. was partially supported by NSF grant DMS-1814543.
R.L. was partially supported by NSF grant DMS-1800241.
T.S. was partially supported by the MINECO-FEDER Grant MTM2015-65715-P and PGC2018-098676-B-100, the Catalan Grant 2017SGR1049, and the ICREA Academia 2019 award.
Part of this material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMS-1440140 while the authors were in residence at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California, during the Fall 2018 semester.

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  • We describe a recent method to show instability in Hamiltonian systems. The main hypothesis of the method is that some explicit transversality conditions – which can be verified in concrete systems by finite calculations – are satisfied.

    In particular, for several types of perturbations of integrable Hamiltonian systems, the hypothesis can be verified by just checking that some Melnikov-type integrals have non-degenerate zeros. This holds for Baire generic sets of perturbations in the $ C^r $-topology, for $ r \in [3, \infty) \cup \{\omega\} $. Our method does not require that the unperturbed Hamiltonian system is convex, or that the perturbation is polynomial, which are non-generic properties.

    Provided that the transversality conditions are verified, one concludes the existence of orbits which change the action coordinate by a quantity independent of the size of the perturbation. In fact, one can obtain orbits that follow any path in action space, up to an error decreasing with the size of the perturbation.

    Mathematics Subject Classification: 37J05, 70H08.


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