Pulse dynamics in reaction-difusion equations with strong spatially localized impurities

Arjen Doelman, Peter Van Heijster*, Jianhe Shen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, a general geometric singular perturbation framework is developed to study the impact of strong, spatially localized, nonlinear impurities on the existence, stability and bifurcations of localized structures in systems of linear reaction-diffusion equations. By taking advantage of the multiple-scale nature of the problem, we derive algebraic conditions determining the existence and stability of pinned single- and multi-pulse solutions. Our methods enable us to explicitly control the spectrum associated with a (multi-)pulse solution. In the scalar case, we show how eigenvalues may move in and out of the essential spectrum and that Hopf bifurcations cannot occur. By contrast, even a pinned 1-pulse solution can undergo a Hopf bifurcation in a two-component system of linear reaction-diffusion equations with (only) one impurity. This article is part of the theme issue 'Stability of nonlinear waves and patterns and related topics'.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20170183
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number2117
Publication statusPublished - 13 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Defect systems
  • Existence
  • Hopf bifurcation
  • Localized patterns
  • Multiple scales
  • Stability

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Pulse dynamics in reaction-difusion equations with strong spatially localized impurities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this