Chemical Waves in Oscillatory Media
Chemical waves are a striking phenomenon that occurs in some reacting systems evolving far from equilibrium. They consist in concentration differences which propagate through the medium at the expense of the chemical free energy content of the reactants. Thus, in contrast to the other kinds of wave (e.g. acoustic or electromagnetic, etc.), they do not carry energy. Owing to this, they exhibit several peculiar properties, such as for instance: conservation of amplitude and waveform while propagating in a dispersive medium, annihilation in head-on collisions, lack of ceflection and interference. These qualitative features make them so much distinguishable that one may wonder whether the word “wave” is still appropriate; another word, like “autowave” used in the russian literature, would emphasize how specific are these chemical propagation phenomena.
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