In this work, we examine the important theoretical question of whether dispersion relations can arise from purely nonlinear interactions among waves that possess no linear dispersive characteristics. Using two prototypical examples of non-dispersive waves, we demonstrate how nonlinear interactions can indeed give rise to effective dispersive-wave-like characteristics in thermal equilibrium. Physically, these example systems correspond to the strong nonlinear coupling limit in the theory of wave turbulence. We derive the form of the corresponding dispersion relation, which describes the effective dispersive structures, using the generalized Langevin equations obtained in the Zwanzig-Mori projection framework. We confirm the validity of this effective dispersion relation in our numerical study using the wavenumber-frequency spectral analysis. Our work may provide insight into an important connection between highly nonlinear turbulent wave systems, possibly with no discernible dispersive properties, and the dispersive nature of the corresponding renormalized waves.

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This work was partly supported by the National Science Foundation through grant DMS-1009453.

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