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Phys Rev Lett. 2002 Jan 14;88(2):024103. Epub 2001 Dec 26.

Stationary and oscillatory spatial patterns induced by global periodic switching.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Institute for Nonlinear Science, University of California-San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, California 92093-0340, USA.


We propose a new mechanism for pattern formation based on the global alternation of two dynamics, neither of which exhibits patterns. When driven by either one of the separate dynamics, the system goes to a spatially homogeneous state associated with that dynamics. However, when the two dynamics are globally alternated sufficiently rapidly, the system exhibits stationary spatial patterns. Somewhat slower switching leads to oscillatory patterns. We support our findings by numerical simulations and discuss the results in terms of the symmetries of the system and the ratio of two relevant characteristic times, the switching period and the relaxation time to a homogeneous state in each separate dynamics.

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