Vortex Formation in Excitable Media

  • Stefan C. Müller
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 270)


Excitable systems play an important role in the field of spatio-temporal self-organisation under conditions far from thermodynamic equilibrium [1]. A particular property of these systems is that they can be assumed to exist in one of three different states: as long as a stimulus is absent, they remain in a quiescent state which is excitable; by application of a stimulus, they are excited to an active state; after excitation there follows a refractory period during which the system is not yet excitable, but relaxes to the previous quiescent and newly excitable situation. It is well known that such systems support the formation of traveling waves of excitation with different front geometries, the complexity of which depends on the dimensionality of the system and the influence of internal and external perturbations [2].


Excitable Medium Spiral Wave Dictyostelium Discoideum Slime Mould Spiral Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stefan C. Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für ErnährungsphysiologieDortmund 1Germany

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