Indexed on: 30 Oct '14Published on: 30 Oct '14Published in: Physical review. E, Statistical, nonlinear, and soft matter physics
We present experimental observations on the electrically forced release of spiral waves pinned to unexcitable circular obstacles in the Belosov-Zhabotinsky reaction. When the applied electric current density reaches the necessary current density J(unpin), the spiral tip is detached and subsequently drifts away from the obstacle. J(unpin) is found to increase with the obstacle diameter d. The growth rate ΔJ(unpin)/Δd is much higher for obstacles larger than the free spiral core compared to that for smaller obstacles. The experimental findings are confirmed by numerical simulations using the Oregonator model. The results imply that it is more difficult to release spiral waves pinned to larger obstacles, especially when the obstacle size exceeds that of the free spiral core.