Chimera States in Continuous Media: Existence and Distinctness

Zachary G. Nicolaou, Hermann Riecke, Adilson E. Motter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The defining property of chimera states is the coexistence of coherent and incoherent domains in systems that are structurally and spatially homogeneous. The recent realization that such states might be common in oscillator networks raises the question of whether an analogous phenomenon can occur in continuous media. Here, we show that chimera states can exist in continuous systems even when the coupling is strictly local, as in many fluid and pattern forming media. Using the complex Ginzburg-Landau equation as a model system, we characterize chimera states consisting of a coherent domain of a frozen spiral structure and an incoherent domain of amplitude turbulence. We show that in this case, in contrast with discrete network systems, fluctuations in the local coupling field play a crucial role in limiting the coherent regions. We suggest these findings shed light on new possible forms of coexisting order and disorder in fluid systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number244101
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 13 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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