Bifurcations with imperfect SO(2) symmetry and pinning of rotating waves

Francisco Marques, Alvaro Meseguer, Juan Lopez, J. Rafael Pacheco, Jose M. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Rotating waves are periodic solutions in SO(2) equivariant dynamical systems. Their precession frequency changes with parameters and it may change sign, passing through zero. When this happens, the dynamical system is very sensitive to imperfections that break the SO(2) symmetry and the waves may become trapped by the imperfections, resulting in steady solutions that exist in a finite region in parameter space. This is the so-called pinning phenomenon. In this study, we analyse the breaking of the SO(2) symmetry in a dynamical system close to a Hopf bifurcation whose frequency changes sign along a curve in parameter space. The problem is very complex, as it involves the complete unfolding of high codimension. A detailed analysis of different types of imperfections indicates that a pinning region surrounded by infinite-period bifurcation curves appears in all cases. Complex bifurcational processes, strongly dependent on the specifics of the symmetry breaking, appear very close to the intersection of the Hopf bifurcation and the pinning region. Scaling laws of the pinning region width and partial breaking of SO(2) to Zm are also considered. Previous as well as new experimental and numerical studies of pinned rotating waves are reviewed in the light of the new theoretical results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20120348
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2152
StatePublished - Apr 8 2013


  • Equivariant Hopf bifurcation
  • Imperfections
  • Pinning phenomenon
  • Rotating Rayleigh-Benard convection
  • Taylor-Couette fow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mathematics(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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