Pattern Formation: Thermodynamics or Kinetics?
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Undoubtedly, contemporary science is becoming more and more hectic and more and more diverse. Thus, the 65th birthday of a scientist is a good occasion to relax and to try to regain a wider scope of our views. Among the problems dealt with by Benno Hess were the glycolytic cycle, chemical oscillations in slime mold, and pattern formation in the Belousov-Zhabotinski reaction. Besides their intrinsic interest, these problems are of utmost importance for our understanding of biological systems and for morphogenesis. But there is a still wider scope, namely these experimental and theoretical studies are of importance for our understanding of complex systems and how to treat them adequately by theory. The spatial patterns and oscillations studied in these experiments occur spontaneously, i.e. they are not forced upon the system by specific controls from the outside. Rather we are dealing here with phenomena of self-organization.
KeywordsThermal Equilibrium Detailed Balance Dissipative Structure Nonequilibrium System Macroscopic Approach
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