Dam break problem for the focusing nonlinear Schrodinger equation and the generation of rogue waves

We propose a novel, analytically tractable, scenario of the rogue wave formation in the framework of the small-dispersion focusing nonlinear Schrodinger (NLS) equation with the initial condition in the form of a rectangular barrier (a \box"). We use the Whitham modulation theory combined with the nonlinear steepest descent for the semi-classical inverse scattering transform, to describe the evolution and interaction of two counter-propagating nonlinear wave trains -the dispersive dam break flows- generated in the NLS box problem. We show that the interaction dynamics results in the emergence of modulated large amplitude quasi-periodic breather lattices whose amplitude profiles are closely approximated by the Akhmediev and Peregrine breathers within certain space time domain. Our semi-classical analytical results are shown to be in excellent agreement with the results of direct numerical simulations of the small-dispersion focusing NLS equation.