We first consider a chain of N linear Kelvin bodies (LKBs):

Assume that all dashpots are equal, but that the spring constants k_n differ for each body n.

Since all LKBs feel the same force F(t), a separate evolution equation can be written for each individual body:

We are interested in the total length X(t) of the chain, which is given by:

The total microstate of the system is described by the vector of the N individual lengths x_n(t), but externally only the global variable X(t) is relevant.

In this linear case, we can define a response function S_n(w) for each individual LKB:

Remarkably, we can even define a global response function of the LKB chain in frequency space, which directly connects the total chain length X with the external force F:

This means that in the linear case, we don't have to keep track of the N microvariables if we just want to know the global X<-->F response.

Now we replace the LKBs by the nonlinear Kelvin bodies described in [NR 1]. All we can do is to write down the separate DGLs for each individual NKB:

There is no abbreviation in this nonlinear case to obtain X(t) from F(t): We have to solve the N coupled differential equations simultaneously and at each time sum over the individual lengths.

So this simple example demonstrates:

We cannot in general treat a non-linear system like a black box and write down response equations which depend only on the externally accessible macro-variables. We rather have to use an evolution equation for the full multi-component micro-state, which will boil down to the solution of a coupled set of nonlinear differential equations.

## No comments:

## Post a Comment