Applications of dynamical systems with symmetry
This thesis examines the application of symmetric dynamical systems theory to two areas in applied mathematics: weakly coupled oscillators with symmetry, and bifurcations in flame front equations. After a general introduction in the first chapter, chapter 2 develops a theoretical framework for the study of identical oscillators with arbitrary symmetry group under an assumption of weak coupling. It focusses on networks with 'all to all' Sn coupling. The structure imposed by the symmetry on the phase space for weakly coupled oscillators with Sn, Zn or Dn symmetries is discussed, and the interaction of internal symmetries and network symmetries is shown to cause decoupling under certain conditions. Chapter 3 discusses what this implies for generic dynamical behaviour of coupled oscillator systems, and concentrates on application to small numbers of oscillators (three or four). We find strong restrictions on bifurcations, and structurally stable heteroclinic cycles. Following this, chapter 4 reports on experimental results from electronic oscillator systems and relates it to results in chapter 3. In a forced oscillator system, breakdown of regular motion is observed to occur through break up of tori followed by a symmetric bifurcation of chaotic attractors to fully symmetric chaos. Chapter 5 discusses reduction of a system of identical coupled oscillators to phase equations in a weakly coupled limit, considering them as weakly dissipative Hamiltonian oscillators with very weakly coupling. This provides a derivation of example phase equations discussed in chapter 2. Applications are shown for two van der Pol-Duffing oscillators in the case of a twin-well potential. Finally, we turn our attention to the Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation. Chapter 6 starts by discussing flame front equations in general, and non-linear models in particular. The Kuramoto-Sivashinsky equation on a rectangular domain with simple boundary conditions is found to be an example of a large class of systems whose linear behaviour gives rise to arbitrarily high order mode interactions. Chapter 7 presents computation of some of these mode interactions using competerised Liapunov-Schmidt reduction onto the kernel of the linearisation, and investigates the bifurcation diagrams in two parameters.