Volume 8, Issue 3
On Spiral Waves Arising in Natural Systems

D. Bini ,  C. Cherubini ,  S. Filippi ,  A. Gizzi and P. E. Ricci


Commun. Comput. Phys., 8 (2010), pp. 610-622.

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  • Abstract

Spiral waves appear in many different natural contexts: excitable biological tissues, fungi and amoebae colonies, chemical reactions, growing crystals, fluids and gas eddies as well as in galaxies. While the existing theories explain the presence of spirals in terms of nonlinear parabolic equations, it is explored here the fact that selfsustained spiral wave regime is already present in the linear heat operator, in terms of integer Bessel functions of complex argument. Such solutions, even if commonly not discussed in the literature because diverging at spatial infinity, play a central role in the understanding of the universality of spiral process. In particular, we have studied how in nonlinear reaction-diffusion models the linear part of the equations determines the wave front appearance while nonlinearities are mandatory to cancel out the blowup of solutions. The spiral wave pattern still requires however at least two cross-reacting species to be physically realized. Biological implications of such a results are discussed.

  • History

Published online: 2010-08

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