Control and characterization of spatio-temporal disorder in parametrically excited surface waves

T EPSTEIN and J FINEBERG

The Racah Institute of Physics, The Hebrew University of

Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91904, Israel

E-mail: jay@vms.huji.ac.il

 

Abstract. The nonlinear interactions of parametrically excited surface waves have been shown to yield a rich family of nonlinear states. When the system is driven by two commensurate frequencies  a variety of interesting superlattice type states are generated via a number of different 3-wave resonant interactions. These states occur either as symmetry-breaking bifurcations of hexagonal patterns composed of a single unstable mode or via nonlinear interactions between the two different unstable modes generated by the two forcing frequencies. Near the system's bicritical point, a well-defined region of phase space exists in which a highly disordered state, both in space and time, is observed. We first show that this state results from the competition between two distinct nonlinear superlattice states, each with different characteristic temporal and spatial symmetries. After characterizing the type of spatio-temporal disorder that is embodied in this disordered state, we will demonstrate that it can be controlled. Control to either of its neighboring nonlinear states is achieved by the application of a small-amplitude excitation at a third frequency, where the spatial symmetry of the selected pattern is determined by the temporal symmetry of the third frequency used. This technique can also excite rapid switching between different nonlinear states.