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Vasiev, Bakthier; Siegert, Florian and Weijer, Cornelis J. (1997): Multiarmed Spirals in Excitable Media. In: Physical Review Letters, Vol. 78, No. 12: pp. 2489-2492 [PDF, 2MB]

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Numerical studies of the properties of multiarmed spirals show that they can form spontaneously in low excitability media. The maximum number of arms in a multiarmed spiral is proportional to the ratio of the single spiral period to the refractoriness of the medium. Multiarmed spirals are formed due to attraction of single spirals if these spirals rotate in the same direction and their tips are less than one wavelength apart, i.e., a spiral broken not far from its tip can evolve into a 2-armed spiral. We propose this mechanism to be responsible for the formation of multiarmed spirals in mounds of the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum.

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