Volume 83, Number 6, September 2008
Article Number 64005
Number of page(s) 6
Section Electromagnetism, Optics, Acoustics, Heat Transfer, Classical Mechanics, and Fluid Dynamics
Published online 12 September 2008
EPL, 83 (2008) 64005
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/83/64005

Generation of finite wave trains in excitable media

A. Yochelis1, E. Knobloch2, Y. Xie1, Z. Qu1 and A. Garfinkel1, 3

1   Department of Medicine (Cardiology), University of California - Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
2   Department of Physics, University of California - Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
3   Department of Physiological Science, University of California - Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

received 2 July 2008; accepted in final form 11 August 2008; published September 2008
published online 12 September 2008

Spatiotemporal control of excitable media is of paramount importance in the development of new applications, ranging from biology to physics. To this end, we identify and describe a qualitative property of excitable media that enables us to generate a sequence of traveling pulses of any desired length, using a one-time initial stimulus. The wave trains are produced by a transient pacemaker generated by a one-time suitably tailored spatially localized finite amplitude stimulus, and belong to a family of fast pulse trains. A second family, of slow pulse trains, is also present. The latter are created through a clumping instability of a traveling wave state (in an excitable regime) and are inaccessible to single localized stimuli of the type we use. The results indicate that the presence of a large multiplicity of stable, accessible, multi-pulse states is a general property of simple models of excitable media.

47.54.-r - Pattern selection; pattern formation.
47.35.Fg - Solitary waves.
47.20.Ky - Nonlinearity, bifurcation, and symmetry breaking.

© EPLA 2008