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Multiple Length Scale Instabilities of Unidirectional Pulse Propagation in a Diffusion-Fed Gel

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posted on 16.12.2015, 23:55 by Xing-Jie Lu, Lin Ren, Qing-Yu Gao, Ying-Ying Yang, Yue-Min Zhao, Jun Huang, Xiao-Li Lv, Irving R. Epstein
Patterns containing multiple length scales arise in a variety of natural systems such as lateral veins in leaves, fingerprints, wrinkled skin, and dendritic crystals. Here we observe period-doubling and bursting instabilities in the spatial extent of wave propagation in a gel-filled capillary tube open at one end and containing the Belousov–Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction–diffusion system. We analyze the relationship between the multiple propagation distances of pulse waves and the local kinetics of the reaction–diffusion system. Simulations with a five-variable Oregonator model qualitatively mimic the multiple length scale patterns of pulse propagation observed in our experiments, suggesting that the study of these phenomena in reaction–diffusion systems may be helpful in understanding complex multiple length scale dynamical behaviors in nature.