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Nonequilibrium reaction-diffusion structures in rigid and viscoelastic media: Knots and unstable noninertial flows. (English) Zbl 0673.76100
Summary: A simple reaction-diffusion model is used to demonstrate the existence of asymptotic (i.e. long time) knotted solutions of reaction-transport problems. The knots are attained with respect to the surface of constant concentration. These solutions cannot be mapped continuously onto the plane and as such have no two-dimensional analogue - they are strictly three-dimensional structures.
The existence of knotted solutions is first argued for intuitively using the properties of a simple reaction-diffusion system. A variational theorem for this system is then derived. Extrema of the associated “energy” functional with knotted topology are obtained numerically. The existence of a rich class of knotted and other strictly three dimensional solutions is also discussed. When the reaction-diffusion medium is subject to mechanical stresses, flows may result. These flows may interact with emerging dissipative structure when the time scales for flow and reaction are comparable. Imposed shears may orient compositional patterns. If the rheologic properties of the medium depend on composition, vortices may emerge under conditions far below the critical Taylor shear rate.

MSC:
76R50 Diffusion
76A10 Viscoelastic fluids
35Q99 Partial differential equations of mathematical physics and other areas of application
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References:
[1] P. ORTOLEVA, Knots and tangles in Reaction Diffusion Systems (to appear in JIMA).
[2] R. SULTAN and P. ORTOLEVA, J. Chem. Phys. 84, 6781 (1986).
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