Noise-Induced Order in Extended Systems: A Tutorial
External fluctuations have a wide variety of constructive effects on the dynamical behavior of spatially extended systems, as described by stochastic partial differential equations. A set of paradigmatic situations exhibiting such effects are briefly reviewed in this paper, in an attempt to provide a concise but thorough introduction to this active field of research, and at the same time an overview of its current status. This work is dedicated to Lutz Schimansky-Geier on the occassion of his 50th anniversary. Through the years, Prof. Schimansky-Geier has made important contributions to the field of spatiotemporal stochastic dynamics, including seminal investigations in the early 1990's on noise effects in front propagation, and studies of noise-induced phase transitions and noise-sustained structures in excitable media, among others.
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