# A Mean-field statistical theory for the nonlinear Schrodinger equation

Abstract

A statistical model of self-organization in a generic class of one-dimensional nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) equations on a bounded interval is developed. The main prediction of this model is that the statistically preferred state for such equations consists of a deterministic coherent structure coupled with fine-scale, random fluctuations, or radiation. The model is derived from equilibrium statistical mechanics by using a mean-field approximation of the conserved Hamiltonian and particle number for finite-dimensional spectral truncations of the NLS dynamics. The continuum limits of these approximated statistical equilibrium ensembles on finite-dimensional phase spaces are analyzed, holding the energy and particle number at fixed, finite values. The analysis shows that the coherent structure minimizes total energy for a given value of particle number and hence is a solution to the NLS ground state equation, and that the remaining energy resides in Gaussian fluctuations equipartitioned over wavenumbers. Some results of direct numerical integration of the NLS equation are included to validate empirically these properties of the most probable states for the statistical model. Moreover, a theoretical justification of the mean-field approximation is given, in which the approximate ensembles are shown to concentrate on the associated microcanonical ensemble in the continuum limit.