AdS nonlinear instability: breaking spherical and axial symmetries

Research paper by Oscar J. C. Dias, Jorge E. Santos

Indexed on: 08 May '17Published on: 08 May '17Published in: arXiv - High Energy Physics - Theory


Considerable effort has been dedicated to study the nonlinear instability of Anti-de Sitter (AdS) within spherical symmetry, but little is known about this nonlinear instability in the purely gravitational sector, where spherical symmetry is necessarily broken. In \cite{Bizon:2011gg} the onset of such nonlinear instability was associated with the existence of irremovable secular resonances at third order in perturbation theory. Furthermore, it was also conjectured in \cite{Bizon:2011gg} that certain very fine tuned initial data would not collapse. Such solutions, upon linearisation, correspond to individual normal modes of AdS, which can be consistently backreacted to all orders in perturbation theory. However, the analysis of \cite{Bizon:2011gg} was restricted to spherical symmetry. The perturbative arguments of \cite{Bizon:2011gg} were then generalised to gravitational perturbations in \cite{Dias:2011ss}, and in particular certain time-periodic solutions were also conjectured to exist - these were coined geons. However, in \cite{Dias:2011ss}, only a certain class of perturbations was considered, for which the perturbative analysis considerably simplifies. In this manuscript we present details of the systematic computational formalism and an exhaustive and complementary analysis of physical properties of the geons and gravitational AdS instability that were absent in our companion Letter \cite{Dias:2016ewl}. In particular, we find that, unlike in spherical symmetry, a (single) gravitational normal mode of AdS can be backreacted to generate a nonlinear solution only in very exceptional circumstances. We also show that weak turbulent perturbative theory predicts the existence of direct and inverse cascades, and give evidence suggesting that the former dominates the latter for equal energy two-mode seeds.