Pattern formation in an N+Q component reaction-diffusion system.

Research paper by John E. JE Pearson, William J. WJ Bruno

Indexed on: 01 Oct '92Published on: 01 Oct '92Published in: Chaos (Woodbury, N.Y.)


A general N+Q component reaction-diffusion system is analyzed with regard to pattern forming instabilities (Turing bifurcations). The system consists of N mobile species and Q immobile species. The Q immobile species form in response to reactions between the N mobile species and an immobile substrate and allow the Turing instability to occur. These results are valid both for bifurcations from a spatially uniform state and for systems with an externally imposed gradient as in the experimental systems in which Turing patterns have been observed. It is shown that the critical wave number and the location of the instability in parameter space are independent of the substrate concentration. It is also found that the system necessarily undergoes a Hopf bifurcation as the total substrate concentration is decreased. Further, in the case that all the mobile species diffuse at identical rates we show that if the full system is at a point of Turing bifurcation then the N component mobile subsystem is at transition from an unstable focus to an unstable node, and the critical wave number is simply related to the degenerate positive eigenvalue of the mobile subsystem. A sequence of bifurcations that occur in the eigenspectra as the total substrate concentration is decreased to zero is also discussed.