TR 92- 5. Victor LeBlanc; Claudia Wulff. Translational symmetry-breaking for spiral waves.
Abstract:Spiral waves are observed in numerous physical situations, ranging from Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) chemical reactions, to cardiac tissue, to slime-mold aggregates. Mathematical models with Euclidean symmetry have recently been developed to describe the dynamic behavior (for example, meandering) of spiral waves in excitable media. However, no physical experiment is ever infinite in spatial extent, so the Euclidean symmetry is only approximate. Experiments on spiral waves show that inhomogeneities can anchor spirals and that boundary effects (for example, boundary drifting) become very important when the size of the spiral core is comparable to the size of the reacting medium. Spiral anchoring and boundary drifting can not be explained by the Euclidean model alone. In this paper, we investigate the effects on spiral wave dynamics of breaking the translation symmetry while keeping the rotation symmetry. This is accomplished by introducing a small perturbation in the five-dimensional center bundle equations (describing Hopf bifurcation from one-armed spiral waves) which is SO(2)-equivariant but not equivariant under translations. We then study the effects of this perturbation on rigid spiral rotation, on quasi-periodic meandering and on drifting