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Critical behaviour for scalar nonlinear waves

Masoero, David; Raimondo, Andrea; Antunes, Pedro R. S.

Physica D: Nonlinear Phenomena, 292–293 (2015), 1-7

In the long-wave regime, nonlinear waves may undergo a phase transition from a smooth to a fast oscillatory behaviour. We show that this phenomenon, commonly known as dispersive shock, shares many features of the tri-critical point in statistical systems and we build a dictionary between nonlinear waves and statistical mechanics. We provide a classification of Universality classes and the explicit description of the transition by means of special functions, extending Dubrovin's universality conjecture to a wider class of equations.