Diffusion-limited aggregation on curved surfaces
Department of Mathematics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
2 Department of Mathematics, Imperial College - London, UK, EU
3 Department of Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Accepted: 10 August 2010
We develop a general theory of transport-limited aggregation phenomena occurring on curved surfaces, based on stochastic iterated conformal maps and conformal projections to the complex plane. To illustrate the theory, we use stereographic projections to simulate diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA) on surfaces of constant Gaussian curvature, including the sphere (K>0) and the pseudo-sphere (K<0), which approximate “bumps" and “saddles" in smooth surfaces, respectively. Although the curvature affects the global morphology of the aggregates, the fractal dimension (in the curved metric) is remarkably insensitive to curvature, as long as the particle size is much smaller than the radius of curvature. We conjecture that all aggregates grown by conformally invariant transport on curved surfaces have the same fractal dimension as DLA in the plane. Our simulations suggest, however, that the multifractal dimensions increase from hyperbolic (K<0) to elliptic (K>0) geometry, which we attribute to curvature-dependent screening of tip branching.
PACS: 61.43.Hv – Fractals; macroscopic aggregates (including diffusion-limited aggregates) / 47.54.-r – Pattern selection; pattern formation / 89.75.Kd – Patterns
© EPLA, 2010