Scaling of energy spreading in a disordered Ding-Dong lattice
We study numerical propagation of energy in a one-dimensional Ding-Dong lattice composed of linear oscillators with elastic collisions. Wave propagation is suppressed by breaking translational symmetry, and we consider three ways to do this: position disorder, mass disorder, and a dimer lattice with alternating distances between the units. In all cases the spreading of an initially localized wavepacket is irregular, due to the appearance of chaos, and subdiffusive. For a range of energies and of weak and moderate levels of disorder, we focus on the macroscopic statistical characterization of spreading. Guided by a nonlinear diffusion equation, we establish that the mean waiting times of spreading obey a scaling law in dependence of energy. Moreover, we show that the spreading exponents very weakly depend on the level of disorder.