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## Pattern formation and tropical geometry

Sandpile model exhibits fascinating pattern structures: patches, characterized by quadratic functions, and line-shaped patterns (also called solitons, webs, or linear defects). It was predicted by Dhar and Sadhu that sandpile patterns with line-like features may be described in terms of tropical geometry. We explain the main ideas and technical tools -- tropical geometry and discrete superharmonic functions -- used to rigorously establish certain properties of these patterns. It seems that the aforementioned tools have great potential for generalizing and applying in a variety of situations.

Perspective methods of information transfer in optical communication channels based on the latest achievements of quantum physics are considered. In the near future these methods can solve both the problem of creating an optical channel conducting with physically unlimited bandwidth, and the problem of secretly transferring information in a fiber-optic information channel. The results of the latest experiments related to the quantum properties of photons are described. The use of solitons as carriers of an information signal is considered. The technologies of using the " temporal cloak " and noise of optical amplifiers for data transmission in fiber-optic communication lines are presented.

We address a specific but possible situation in natural water bodies when the three-layer stratification has a symmetric nature, with equal depths of the uppermost and the lowermost layers. In such case, the coefficients at the leading nonlinear terms of the modified Korteweg-de Vries (mKdV) equation vanish simultaneously. It is shown that in such cases there exists a specific balance between the leading nonlinear and dispersive terms. An extension to the mKdV equation is derived by means of combination of a sequence of asymptotic methods. The resulting equation contains a cubic and a quintic nonlinearity of the same magnitude and possesses solitary wave solutions of different polarity. The properties of smaller solutions resemble those for the solutions of the mKdV equation whereas the height of the taller solutions is limited and they become table-like. It is demonstrated numerically that the collisions of solitary wave solutions to the resulting equation are weakly inelastic: the basic properties of the counterparts experience very limited changes but the interactions are certainly accompanied by a certain level of radiation of small-amplitude waves.

The bottom pressure distribution under solitonic waves, travelling or fully reflected at a wall is analysed here. Results given by two kind of numerical models are compared. One of the models is based on the Green–Naghdi equations, while the other one is based on the fully nonlinear potential equations. The two models differ through the way in which wave dispersion is taken into account. This approach allows us to emphasize the influence of dispersion, in the case of travelling or fully reflected waves. The Green–Naghdi model is found to predict well the bottom pressure distribution, even when the quantitative representation of the runup height is not satisfactorily described.

In 1987, Bak, Tang, and Wiesenfeld introduced a mechanism (hereafter, the BTW mechanism) that underlies self-organized critical systems. Extreme events generated by the BTW mechanism are be- lieved to exhibit an unpredictable occurrence. In spite of this general opinion, the largest events in the original BTW model are efficiently predictable by algorithms that exploit information that is hidden in ap- plications. Intending to relate the predictability of self-organized critical systems with the level of its asymmetry, we examine the inter-event dis- tribution of extreme avalanches generated by the BTW mechanism on symmetrical and asymmetrical self-similar lattices. Initially, we claim that the main part of the size-frequency relationship is power-law in- dependent of the asymmetry, but the asymmetry reduces the range of scale-free avalanches in the domain of small avalanches. Further, we turn to extremes and claim that they are located on the downward bend of the distribution of the avalanches over their sizes. Finally, we compare the probability distribution of waiting time between two successive extremes with the exponential distribution. The latter gives the reference point of the complete unpredictability naturally measured in terms of the sum of two rates related to type I and II statistical errors: the rate of the unpredicted avalanches and the alarm time rate. We posit that the devi- ations of the observed probability distribution from the exponential one do not affect the unpredictability of extremes drawn from the waiting time between them.

Novikov's conjecture on the Riemann-Schottky problem: {\it the Jacobians of smooth algebraic curves are precisely those indecomposable principally polarized abelian varieties (ppavs) whose theta-functions provide solutions to the Kadomtsev-Petviashvili (KP) equation}, was the first evidence of nowadays well-established fact: connections between the algebraic geometry and the modern theory of integrable systems is beneficial for both sides. The purpose of this paper is twofold. Our first goal is to present a proof of the strongest known characterization of a Jacobian variety in this direction: {\it an indecomposable ppav X is the Jacobian of a curve if and only if its Kummer variety K(X) has a trisecant line} and the solution of the characterization problem of principally polarized Prym varieties. The latter problem is almost as old and famous as the Riemann-Schottky problem but is much harder. In some sense the Prym varieties may be geometrically the easiest-to-understand ppavs beyond Jacobians, and studying them may be a first step towards understanding the geometry of more general abelian varieties as well. Our second and primary objective is to take this opportunity to elaborate on motivations underlining the proposed solution of the Riemann-Schottky problem, to introduce a certain circle of ideas and methods, developed in the theory of soliton equations, and to convince the reader that they are algebro-geometric in nature, simple and universal enough to be included in the Handbook of moduli.

A model for organizing cargo transportation between two node stations connected by a railway line which contains a certain number of intermediate stations is considered. The movement of cargo is in one direction. Such a situation may occur, for example, if one of the node stations is located in a region which produce raw material for manufacturing industry located in another region, and there is another node station. The organization of freight traﬃc is performed by means of a number of technologies. These technologies determine the rules for taking on cargo at the initial node station, the rules of interaction between neighboring stations, as well as the rule of distribution of cargo to the ﬁnal node stations. The process of cargo transportation is followed by the set rule of control. For such a model, one must determine possible modes of cargo transportation and describe their properties. This model is described by a ﬁnite-dimensional system of diﬀerential equations with nonlocal linear restrictions. The class of the solution satisfying nonlocal linear restrictions is extremely narrow. It results in the need for the “correct” extension of solutions of a system of diﬀerential equations to a class of quasi-solutions having the distinctive feature of gaps in a countable number of points. It was possible numerically using the Runge–Kutta method of the fourth order to build these quasi-solutions and determine their rate of growth. Let us note that in the technical plan the main complexity consisted in obtaining quasi-solutions satisfying the nonlocal linear restrictions. Furthermore, we investigated the dependence of quasi-solutions and, in particular, sizes of gaps (jumps) of solutions on a number of parameters of the model characterizing a rule of control, technologies for transportation of cargo and intensity of giving of cargo on a node station.

Let k be a field of characteristic zero, let G be a connected reductive algebraic group over k and let g be its Lie algebra. Let k(G), respectively, k(g), be the field of k- rational functions on G, respectively, g. The conjugation action of G on itself induces the adjoint action of G on g. We investigate the question whether or not the field extensions k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G are purely transcendental. We show that the answer is the same for k(G)/k(G)^G and k(g)/k(g)^G, and reduce the problem to the case where G is simple. For simple groups we show that the answer is positive if G is split of type A_n or C_n, and negative for groups of other types, except possibly G_2. A key ingredient in the proof of the negative result is a recent formula for the unramified Brauer group of a homogeneous space with connected stabilizers. As a byproduct of our investigation we give an affirmative answer to a question of Grothendieck about the existence of a rational section of the categorical quotient morphism for the conjugating action of G on itself.

Let G be a connected semisimple algebraic group over an algebraically closed field k. In 1965 Steinberg proved that if G is simply connected, then in G there exists a closed irreducible cross-section of the set of closures of regular conjugacy classes. We prove that in arbitrary G such a cross-section exists if and only if the universal covering isogeny Ĝ → G is bijective; this answers Grothendieck's question cited in the epigraph. In particular, for char k = 0, the converse to Steinberg's theorem holds. The existence of a cross-section in G implies, at least for char k = 0, that the algebra k[G]G of class functions on G is generated by rk G elements. We describe, for arbitrary G, a minimal generating set of k[G]G and that of the representation ring of G and answer two Grothendieck's questions on constructing generating sets of k[G]G. We prove the existence of a rational (i.e., local) section of the quotient morphism for arbitrary G and the existence of a rational cross-section in G (for char k = 0, this has been proved earlier); this answers the other question cited in the epigraph. We also prove that the existence of a rational section is equivalent to the existence of a rational W-equivariant map T- - - >G/T where T is a maximal torus of G and W the Weyl group.