Condensed Matter Physics, 2010, vol. 13, No. 4, p. 43103:1-19

Title: Geometric nonlinearities in field theory, condensed matter and analytical mechanics
  J.J. Sławianowski (Institute of Fundamental Technological Research, Polish Academy of Sciences, 5B Pawińskiego Str., 02-106 Warsaw, Poland)

There are two very important subjects in physics: Symmetry of dynamical models and nonlinearity. All really fundamental models are invariant under some particular symmetry groups. There is also no true physics, no our Universe and life at all, without nonlinearity. Particularly interesting are essential, non-perturbative nonlinearities which are not described by correction terms imposed on some well-defined linear background. Our idea in this paper is that there exists some mysterious, still incomprehensible link between essential, physically relevant nonlinearity and dynamical symmetry, first of all, of large symmetry groups. In some sense the problem is known even in soliton theory, where the essential nonlinearity is often accompanied by the infinite system of integrals of motion, thus, by infinite-dimensional symmetry groups. Here we discuss some more familiar problems from the realm of field theory, condensed matter physics, and analytical mechanics, where the link between essential nonlinearity and high symmetry is obvious, although not fully understandable.

Key words: Born-Infeld electrodynamics, condensed matter, general relativity and tetrads, non-perturbative nonlinearity, relativistic structured continuum, dynamical symmetry
PACS: 11.30.-j, 05.45.-a, 46.05.+b, 04.20.-q, 03.50.De, 45.20.Jj

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