Date of Original Version
Abstract or Description
We prove an asymptotic stability result for the water wave equations linearized around small solitary waves. The equations we consider govern irrotational flow of a fluid with constant density bounded below by a rigid horizontal bottom and above by a free surface under the influence of gravity neglecting surface tension. For sufficiently small amplitude waves, with waveform well-approximated by the well-known sech-squared shape of the KdV soliton, solutions of the linearized equations decay at an exponential rate in an energy norm with exponential weight translated with the wave profile. This holds for all solutions with no component in (i.e., symplectically orthogonal to) the two-dimensional neutral-mode space arising from infinitesimal translational and wave-speed variation of solitary waves. We also obtain spectral stability in an unweighted energy norm.