Experimentalists, theoreticians and computer scientists
University of Houston
University of Texas at San Antonio have joined to study a unique
physical system -- burner stabilized premixed flames.
The interdisciplinary research group develops tools to
further the fundamental understanding of pattern-forming systems through visualization, animation, measurement and modeling.
Premixed flames provide a unique experimental
setting for studying the dynamics of pattern formation.
The hotter regions appear as cells that are separated by the
cusps and folds.
Cellular patterns in uniform, extended continua form via spontaneous symmetry-breaking.
Consequently there are qualitative properties of the cellular state that transcend the physical system, thus leading to universal features.
These systems have hundreds of states ranging from highly
ordered to intermittent and chaotic. Image processing, visualization and computer animations are used to analyze the resulting motions.
An important technique we are using to understand transitions is the decomposition
of states into their empirical eigenmodes using K-L decomposition. We then
animate the decomposition to obtain new insights into the motion.