Pattern Selection and Symmetry Competition in Materials Instabilities

  • Daniel Walgraef
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 237)


One of the most natural and still intriguing behavior of complex physico-chemical systems driven sufficiently far from thermal equilibrium is their ability to undergo symmetry-breaking instabilities leading to the spontaneous formation of coherent structures over macroscopic time and space scales (Nicolis and Prigogine, 1977). Such a behavior has been widely studied in various fields including physics, biophysics, chemistry and materials science. The question of why order appears spontaneously and which patterns are selected among a large manifold of possibilities remains a major theme of experimental and theoretical research (Swinney and Gollub, 1981, Nicolis and Baras, 1983, Hlavacek, 1985). Even though this research was at first fundamental in nature, it now appears more and more to be of technological importance.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Walgraef
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté des SciencesUniversité Libre de BruxellesBrusselsBelgium

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