Belousov-Zhabotinskii Reaction

  • James D. Murray
Part of the Biomathematics book series (BIOMATHEMATICS, volume 19)


This important oscillating reaction was discovered by Belousov (1951) and is described in an unpublished paper (which was contemptuously rejected by a journal editor), a translation of which has now appeared in the book edited by Field and Burger (1985). Eventually Belousov (1959) published a brief note in the obscure proceedings of a Russian medical meeting. He found oscillations in the ratio of concentrations of the catalyst in the oxidation of citric acid by bromate. The study of this reaction was continued by Zhabotinskii (1964) and is now known as the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction or simply the BZ reaction. When the details of this important reaction and some of its dramatic oscillatory and wave-like properties finally reached the West in the 1970’s it provoked widespread interest and research. Belousov’s seminal work was finally, but posthumously, recognised in 1980 by his being awarded the Lenin Prize. Winfree (1984) gives a brief interesting description of the history of the Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction.


Relaxation Oscillator Limit Cycle Oscillation Positive Steady State Bifurcation Surface Limit Cycle Solution 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • James D. Murray
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Mathematical Biology Mathematical InstituteUniversity of OxfordOxfordGreat Britain

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