Physics Colloquium - Friday, Feb. 8th, 2008,
Center; Refreshments at 3:30 P.M. in
Topological characterization of spatiotemporal patterns
Department of Physics
Numerous physical systems in nature and in technology
exhibit patterns or
structures that are complex in space and in time.
characterization of such patterns remains an outstanding
challenge. We will discuss a new method using computational
homology, which can be applied generally to data sets
from either laboratory experiments or numerical simulations.
We discuss the application of computational homology to
analyze the state of spiral defect chaos in Rayleigh-Benard
convection. The analysis reveals asymmetries in flow fields
that are not easily observable using convectional
These results suggest computational homology may provide a
new and general
approach for connecting spatiotemporal observations of
chaotic or turbulent patterns to theoretical models.