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Rings on strings in excitable media

Maucher, Fabian; Sutcliffe, Paul

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Fabian Maucher


We study the dynamics and interaction of coaxial vortex rings in the FitzHugh–Nagumo excitable medium. We find that threading vortex rings with a vortex string results in significant qualitative differences in their evolution and interaction. In particular, threading prevents the annihilation of rings in a head-on collision, allows generic ring overtaking, and can even reverse the direction of motion of a ring. We identify that an important mechanism for producing this new behaviour is that threaded vortex rings interact indirectly via induced twisting of the threading vortex string.


Maucher, F., & Sutcliffe, P. (2018). Rings on strings in excitable media. Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 51(5), Article 055102.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 11, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 5, 2018
Publication Date Feb 2, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 15, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 5, 2019
Journal Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical
Print ISSN 1751-8113
Electronic ISSN 1751-8121
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 51
Issue 5
Article Number 055102
Related Public URLs


Accepted Journal Article (3.2 Mb)

Copyright Statement
This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article published in Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical. IOP Publishing Ltd is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at

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