Chimera states arising in the classic Kuramoto system of two-dimensional phase-coupled oscillators are transient but they are "long" transients in the sense that the average transient lifetime grows exponentially with the system size. For reasonably large systems, e.g., those consisting of a few hundred oscillators, it is infeasible to numerically calculate or experimentally measure the average lifetime, so the chimera states are practically permanent. We find that small perturbations in the third dimension, which make system "slightly" three dimensional, will reduce dramatically the transient lifetime. In particular, under such a perturbation, the practically infinite average transient lifetime will become extremely short because it scales with the magnitude of the perturbation only logarithmically. Physically, this means that a reduction in the perturbation strength over many orders of magnitude, insofar as it is not zero, would result in only an incremental increase in the lifetime. The uncovered type of fragility of chimera states raises concerns about their observability in physical systems.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Physics and Astronomy