Letter | Published:

Taming spatiotemporal chaos with disorder

Nature volume 378, pages 465467 (30 November 1995) | Download Citation

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Abstract

DISORDERand noise in physical systems usually tend to destroy spatial and temporal regularity, but recent research into nonlinear systems provides intriguing counterexamples. In the phenomenon of stochastic resonance1, for example, the presence of noise improves the ability of some nonlinear systems to transfer information reliably. Noise can also remove chaos in a model oscillator2, and facilitate synchronization in an extended array of bistable elements3. Here we explore the use of disorder as a means to control spatiotemporal chaos4–8 in coupled arrays of forced, damped, nonlinear oscillators. Chaotic behaviour in spatially extended systems, especially in biology and physiology9,10, might be amenable to control, as occurs in lowdimensional temporally chaotic systems11,12. In our numerical experiments, one and twodimensional arrays of identical oscillators behave chaotically, but the introduction of slight, uncorrelated differences between the oscillators induces ordered motion characterized by complex but regular spatiotemporal patterns.

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Author information

Affiliations

  1. Applied Chaos Laboratory, School of Physics,Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA

    • Y. Braiman
    • , John F. Lindner
    •  & William L. Ditto
  2. The College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio 44691, USA

    • John F. Lindner
  3. Present address: School of Physics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, USA.

    • Y. Braiman

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/378465a0

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