Dash waves in a reaction-diffusion system

Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Mar 7;90(9):098301. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.90.098301. Epub 2003 Mar 3.


Patterns in reaction-diffusion systems generally consist of smooth traveling waves or of stationary, discontinuous Turing structures. Hybrid patterns that blend the properties of waves and Turing structures have not previously been observed. We report observation of dash waves, which consist of wave segments regularly separated by gaps, moving coherently in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky system dispersed in water-in-oil microemulsion. Dash waves emerge from the interaction between excitable and pseudo-Turing-unstable steady states. We are able to generate dash waves in simulations with simple models.