Oscillating Chemical Reactions
Model ID: 1389
Most reactions proceed smoothly, at varying rates, to a final state of equilibrium. Some, however, do not. They oscillate with reactant, product, or intermediate species concentrations fluctuating wildly.
Many oscillating natural phenomena—from firefly flashes to the human heartbeat—are oscillatory chemical systems. Although the actual reaction mechanisms responsible for oscillations in biochemistry often are exceedingly complicated, surprisingly simple reaction models have successfully captured key features of these cyclic events.
This example looks closely at three well-known examples of reaction systems with oscillating kinetics: the Lotka reaction, the Lotka-Volterra reaction, and a version of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction.
|The Lotka Reaction: Species concentrations (mol/m3) as functions of time (s). The system reaches equilibrium after approximately 4000 s|