Modeling of Turing Structures in the Chlorite—Iodide—Malonic Acid—Starch Reaction System

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Science  08 Feb 1991:
Vol. 251, Issue 4994, pp. 650-652
DOI: 10.1126/science.251.4994.650


Recent experiments on the chlorite-iodide-malonic acid-starch reaction in a gel reactor give the first evidence of the existence of the symmetry breaking, reaction-diffusion structures predicted by Turing in 1952. A five-variable model that describes the temporal behavior of the system is reduced to a two-variable model, and its spatial behavior is analyzed. Structures have been found with wavelengths that are in good agreement with those observed experimentally. The gel plays a key role by binding key iodine species, thereby creating the necessary difference in the effective diffusion coefficients of the activator and inhibitor species, iodide and chlorite ions, respectively.