Spatiotemporal order out of noise

Francesc Sagués, José M. Sancho, Jordi García-Ojalvo
2007 Reviews of Modern Physics  
Natural systems are undeniably subject to random fluctuations, arising from either environmental variability or thermal effects. The consideration of those fluctuations supposes to deal with noisy quantities whose variance might at times be a sizable fraction of their mean levels. It is known that, under these conditions, noisy fluctuations can interact with the system's nonlinearities to render counterintuitive behavior, in which an increase in the noise level produces a more regular behavior.
more » ... In systems with spatial degrees of freedom, this regularity takes the form of spatiotemporal order. An overview is presented of the mechanisms through which noise induces, enhances, and sustains ordered behavior in passive and active nonlinear media, and different spatiotemporal phenomena are described resulting from these effects. The general theoretical framework used in the analysis of these effects is reviewed, encompassing the theory of stochastic partial differential equations and coupled sets of ordinary stochastic differential equations. Experimental observations of self-organized behavior arising out of noise are also described, and details on the numerical algorithms needed in the computer simulation of these problems are given.
doi:10.1103/revmodphys.79.829 fatcat:d73gtihm4rah5ogvkmmlhxnzke