Universality in active chaos

Tamás Tél*, Takashi Nishikawa, Adilson E. Motter, Celso Grebogi, Zoltán Toroczkai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Many examples of chemical and biological processes take place in large-scale environmental flows. Such flows generate filamental patterns which are often fractal due to the presence of chaos in the underlying advection dynamics. In such processes, hydrodynamical stirring strongly couples into the reactivity of the advected species and might thus make the traditional treatment of the problem through partial differential equations difficult. Here we present a simple approach for the activity in inhomogeneously stirred flows. We show that the fractal patterns serving as skeletons and catalysts lead to a rate equation with a universal form that is independent of the flow, of the particle properties, and of the details of the active process. One aspect of the universality of our approach is that it also applies to reactions among particles of finite size (so-called inertial particles).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-78
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Mathematical Physics


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