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Chaos. 1997 Sep;7(3):463-475.

Cellular pattern formation in circular domains.

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  • 1Department of Physics, The University of Houston, Houston, Texas 77204.


An analysis of stationary and nonstationary cellular patterns observed in premixed flames on a circular, porous plug burner is presented. A phenomenological model is introduced, that exhibits patterns similar to the experimental states. The primary modes of the model are combinations of Fourier-Bessel functions, whose radial parts have neighboring zeros. This observation explains several features of patterns, such as the existence of concentric rings of cells and the weak coupling between rings. Properties of rotating rings of cells, including the existence of modulated rotations and heteroclinic cycles can be deduced using mode coupling. For nonstationary patterns, the modal decomposition of experimental data can be carried out using the Karhunen-Loeve (KL) analysis. Experimental states are used to demonstrate the possibility of using KL analysis to differentiate between uniform and nonuniform rotations. The methodology can be extended to study more complicated nonstationary patterns. In particular, it is shown how the complexity of "hopping states" can be unraveled through the analysis. (c) 1997 American Institute of Physics.

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