# Soliton

## Self-reinforcing single wave packet / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

#### Dear Wikiwand AI, let's keep it short by simply answering these key questions:

Can you list the top facts and stats about Soliton?

Summarize this article for a 10 year old

In mathematics and physics, a **soliton** is a nonlinear, self-reinforcing, localized wave packet that is **strongly stable**, in that it preserves its shape while propagating freely, at constant velocity, and recovers it even after collisions with other such localized wave packets. Its remarkable stability can be traced to a balanced cancellation of nonlinear and dispersive effects in the medium. (Dispersive effects are a property of certain systems where the speed of a wave depends on its frequency.) Solitons were subsequently found to provide stable solutions of a wide class of weakly nonlinear dispersive partial differential equations describing physical systems.

The soliton phenomenon was first described in 1834 by John Scott Russell (1808–1882) who observed a solitary wave in the Union Canal in Scotland. He reproduced the phenomenon in a wave tank and named it the "Wave of Translation". The term **soliton** was coined by Zabusky and Kruskal to describe localized, strongly stable propagating solutions to the Korteweg–de Vries equation, which models waves of the type seen by Russell. The name was meant to characterize the solitary nature of the waves, with the 'on' suffix recalling the usage for particles such as electrons, baryons or hadrons, reflecting their observed **particle-like** behaviour.^{[1]}