WIAS Preprint No. 2457, (2017)

Local control of globally competing patterns in coupled Swift--Hohenberg equations


  • Becker, Maximilian
  • Frenzel, Thomas
  • Niedermeyer, Thomas
  • Reichelt, Sina
  • Mielke, Alexander
    ORCID: 0000-0002-4583-3888
  • Bär, Markus


  • Pattern formation, Swift--Hohenberg equation, weakly nonlinear analysis, amplitude equations, control




We present analytical and numerical investigations of two anti-symmetrically coupled 1D Swift--Hohenberg equations (SHEs) with cubic nonlinearities. The SHE provides a generic formulation for pattern formation at a characteristic length scale. A linear stability analysis of the homogeneous state reveals a wave instability in addition to the usual Turing instability of uncoupled SHEs. We performed weakly nonlinear analysis in the vicinity of the codimension-two point of the Turing-wave instability, resulting in a set of coupled amplitude equations for the Turing pattern as well as left and right traveling waves. In particular, these complex Ginzburg--Landau-type equations predict two major things: there exists a parameter regime where multiple different patterns are stable with respect to each other; and that the amplitudes of different patterns interact by local mutual suppression. In consequence, different patterns can coexist in distinct spatial regions, separated by localized interfaces. We identified specific mechanisms for controlling the position of these interfaces, which distinguish what kinds of patterns the interface connects and thus allow for global pattern selection. Extensive simulations of the original SHEs confirm our results.

Appeared in

Download Documents