Phase clustering in globally coupled photochemical oscillators
Leeds University, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK
2 University of West England, Bristol, BS16 1QY, UK
3 University of West Virginia, Morgantown, West Virginia, 26506, USA
We experimentally investigate the formation of clusters in a population of globally coupled photochemical oscillators. The system consists of catalytic micro-particles in Belousov-Zhabotinsky solution and the coupling exploits the excitatory properties of light; an increase in the light intensity leads to excitation (“firing") of an oscillator. As the coupling strength is increased, a transition occurs from incoherence to clustering, whereby the oscillators split into synchronised groups, to complete synchronisation. Multistability is observed between a one-phase cluster (fully synchronised group) and two-phase clusters (two groups with the same frequency but different phases). The results are reproduced in simulations and we demonstrate that the heterogeneity of the population as well as the relaxational nature of the oscillators is important in the observation of clusters. We also examine the exploitation of the phase model for the prediction of clusters in experiments.
© EDP Sciences, Springer-Verlag, 2008