Experimental observation of self-replicating spots in a reaction-diffusion system

Kyoung Jin Lee, W. D. McCormick, J. E. Pearson, H. L. Swinney

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383 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In his classic 1952 paper, Turing suggested a possible connection between patterns in biological systems and patterns that could form spontaneously in chemical reaction-diffusion systems. Turing's analysis stimulated considerable theoretical research on mathematical models of pattern formation, but Turing-type patterns were not observed in controlled laboratory experiments until 1990. Subsequently there has been a renewed interest in chemical pattern formation and in the relationship of chemical patterns to the remarkably similar patterns observed in diverse physical and biological systems. Numerical simulations of a simple model chemical system have recently revealed spot patterns that undergo a continuous process of 'birth' through replication and 'death' through overcrowding. Here we report the observation of a similar phenomenon in laboratory experiments on the ferrocyanide-iodate-sulphite reaction. Repeated growth and replication can be observed for a wide range of experimental parameters, and can be reproduced by a simple two-species model, suggesting that replicating spots may occur in many reaction-diffusion systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-218
Number of pages4
JournalNature
Volume369
Issue number6477
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1994 May 27
Externally publishedYes

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ferrocyanides
sulfites
chemical reactions
mathematical models
death
iodates

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Cite this

Experimental observation of self-replicating spots in a reaction-diffusion system. / Lee, Kyoung Jin; McCormick, W. D.; Pearson, J. E.; Swinney, H. L.

In: Nature, Vol. 369, No. 6477, 27.05.1994, p. 215-218.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Lee, KJ, McCormick, WD, Pearson, JE & Swinney, HL 1994, 'Experimental observation of self-replicating spots in a reaction-diffusion system', Nature, vol. 369, no. 6477, pp. 215-218. https://doi.org/10.1038/369215a0
Lee, Kyoung Jin ; McCormick, W. D. ; Pearson, J. E. ; Swinney, H. L. / Experimental observation of self-replicating spots in a reaction-diffusion system. In: Nature. 1994 ; Vol. 369, No. 6477. pp. 215-218.
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