Indexed on: 17 May '17Published on: 17 May '17Published in: Physical review. E
We present an investigation on the breakup of free and pinned spiral waves under an applied electrical current in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. Spiral fronts propagating towards the negative electrode are decelerated. A breakup of the spiral waves occurs when some segments of the fronts are stopped by a sufficiently strong electrical current. In the absence of obstacles (i.e., free spiral waves), the critical value of the electrical current for the wave breakup increases with the excitability of the medium. For spiral waves pinned to circular obstacles, the critical electrical current increases with the obstacle diameter. Analysis of spiral dynamics shows that the enhancement of the robustness against the breakup of both free and pinned spiral waves is originated by the increment of wave speed when either the excitability is strengthened or the obstacle size is enlarged. The experimental findings are reproduced by numerical simulations using the Oregonator model. In addition, the simulations reveal that the robustness against the forced breakup increases with the activator level in both cases of free and pinned spiral waves.