Abstract: In the early fifties in Los Alamos E. Fermi in collaboration with J. Pasta, S. Ulam and M. Tsingou investigated a one-dimensional chain of equal masses connected by a weakly nonlinear spring. The key question was related to the understanding of the phenomenon of conduction in solids; in particular, their goal was the estimation of the relaxation time scale needed for the system to reach equipartition of energy among the Fourier modes. They approached the problem numerically using the MANIAC I computer; however, the system did not thermalize and they observed a recurrence to the initial state (this is known as the FPUT-recurrence). This unexpected result has led to the development of modern nonlinear physics (discovery of solitons and integrability). In this seminar, I will give a brief historical overview of the subject and present new results on the problem of thermalization based on the Wave Turbulence Theory.
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