Complex Patterns in a Simple System

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Science  09 Jul 1993:
Vol. 261, Issue 5118, pp. 189-192
DOI: 10.1126/science.261.5118.189


Numerical simulations of a simple reaction-diffusion model reveal a surprising variety of irregular spatiotemporal patterns. These patterns arise in response to finite-amplitude perturbations. Some of them resemble the steady irregular patterns recently observed in thin gel reactor experiments. Others consist of spots that grow until they reach a critical size, at which time they divide in two. If in some region the spots become overcrowded, all of the spots in that region decay into the uniform background.