Topology in Nonlinear Mechanical Systems
Many advancements have been made in the field of topological mechanics. The majority of the work, however, concerns the topological invariant in a linear theory. In this Letter, we present a generic prescription to define topological indices that accommodates nonlinear effects in mechanical systems without taking any approximation. Invoking the tools of differential geometry, a Z-valued quantity in terms of a topological index in differential geometry known as the PoincarÃ©-Hopf index, which features the topological invariant of nonlinear zero modes (ZMs), is predicted. We further identify one type of topologically protected solitons that are robust to disorders. Our prescription constitutes a new direction of searching for novel topologically protected nonlinear ZMs in the future. Â© 2021 American Physical Society.