Pattern formation by interacting chemical fronts

Kyoung Jin Lee, W. D. McCormick, Qi Ouyang, Harry L. Swinney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

304 Citations (Scopus)


Experiments on a bistable chemical reaction in a continuously fed thin gel layer reveal a new type of spatiotemporal pattern, one in which fronts propagate at a constant speed until they reach a critical separation (typically 0.4 millimeter) and stop. The resulting asymptotic state is a highly irregular stationary pattern that contrasts with the regular patterns such as hexagons, squares, and stripes that have been observed in many nonequilibrium systems. The observed patterns are initiated by a finite amplitude perturbation rather than through spontaneous symmetry breaking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-194
Number of pages3
Issue number5118
Publication statusPublished - 1993 Jul 9
Externally publishedYes

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    Lee, K. J., McCormick, W. D., Ouyang, Q., & Swinney, H. L. (1993). Pattern formation by interacting chemical fronts. Science, 261(5118), 192-194.