Volume 83, Number 5, September 2008
Article Number 58002
Number of page(s) 6
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 21 August 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 58002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/58002

Fronts and trigger wave patterns in an array of oscillating vortices

J. R. Boehmer and T. H. Solomon

Department of Physics and Astronomy, Bucknell University - Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA

received 4 April 2008; accepted in final form 15 July 2008; published September 2008
published online 21 August 2008

We present experiments on reaction fronts and self-sustaining trigger wave patterns in an advection-reaction-diffusion system with chaotic mixing. The flow is a two-dimensional array of oscillating vortices, and the reaction is the excitable Belousov-Zhabotinsky chemical reaction. Reaction fronts are found to mode-lock for a wide range of frequencies, and the mode-locking results in "faceted" fronts that line up along the directions of the underlying vortex array. Self-sustaining trigger wave patterns are also found composed of large scale spiral and spiral-pair patterns, similar to patterns in the reaction-diffusion (no flow) limit but with a significantly larger typical length scale and with clear anisotropy that reflects the vortex array.

82.40.Ck - Pattern formation in reactions with diffusion, flow and heat transfer.
47.70.Fw - Chemically reactive flows.
47.52.+j - Chaos in fluid dynamics.

© EPLA 2008