Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
XML PDF e-pub
PDF e-Pub

Section: New Results

Traveling waves in spatially discrete excitable media

Participants : José Eduardo Morales, Arnaud Tonnelier, Guillaume James.

The propagation of traveling waves in excitable media is a widespread phenomenon, with applications ranging from forest fires to electrical signals propagating along nerve fibers. The case of spatially discrete excitable models is notoriously difficult to analyze. In particular, for the discrete FitzHugh-Nagumo reaction-diffusion system, the existence of pulses for a general class of bistable nonlinearities has been proved only recently (Hupkes and Sandstede, 2010). The existence of pulses under more general types of interactions (e.g. elastic instead of diffusive) remains an open question, as well as traveling wave propagation in higher-dimensional systems. These problems will be tackled in the PhD thesis of J.-E. Morales (advisors A. Tonnelier and G. James), which started on November 2013. J.-E. Morales has started to analyze pulse propagation in the excitable Burridge-Knopoff (BK) model, which finds applications in the context of nonlinear friction. This model includes elastic interactions between particles, and an additional difficulty linked with nonsmoothness of the (multivalued) Coulomb friction law. Using an idealized piecewise linear friction force, we have studied the propagation of a pulse wave in the discrete BK model. Using asymptotic methods, we proved the existence of a pulse wave and derived quantitative results for travelling wave properties.