Delayed Hopf Bifurcation and Space-Time Buffer Curves in the Complex Ginzburg-Landau Equation

Ryan Goh, Tasso J. Kaper, Theodore Vo

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In this article, the recently discovered phenomenon of delayed Hopf bifurcations (DHB) in reaction-diffusion partial differential equations (PDEs) is analysed in the cubic Complex Ginzburg-Landau equation, as an equation in its own right, with a slowly varying parameter. We begin by using the classical asymptotic methods of stationary phase and steepest descents on the linearized PDE to show that solutions, which have approached the attracting quasi-steady state (QSS) before the Hopf bifurcation remain near that state for long times after the instantaneous Hopf bifurcation and the QSS has become repelling. In the complex time plane, the phase function of the linearized PDE has a saddle point, and the Stokes and anti-Stokes lines are central to the asymptotics. The non-linear terms are treated by applying an iterative method to the mild form of the PDE given by perturbations about the linear particular solution. This tracks the closeness of solutions near the attracting and repelling QSS in the full, non-linear PDE. Next, we show that beyond a key Stokes line through the saddle there is a curve in the space-time plane along which the particular solution of the linear PDE ceases to be exponentially small, causing the solution of the non-linear PDE to diverge from the repelling QSS and exhibit large-amplitude oscillations. This curve is called the space-time buffer curve. The homogeneous solution also stops being exponentially small in a spatially dependent manner, as determined also by the initial data and time. Hence, a competition arises between these two solutions, as to which one ceases to be exponentially small first, and this competition governs spatial dependence of the DHB. We find four different cases of DHB, depending on the outcomes of the competition, and we quantify to leading order how these depend on the main system parameters, including the Hopf frequency, initial time, initial data, source terms, and diffusivity. Examples are presented for each case, with source terms that are a uni-modal function, a smooth step function, a spatially periodic function and an algebraically growing function. Also, rich spatio-temporal dynamics are observed in the post-DHB oscillations. Finally, it is shown that large-amplitude source terms can be designed so that solutions spend substantially longer times near the repelling QSS, and hence, region-specific control over the delayed onset of oscillations can be achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-186
Number of pages56
JournalIMA Journal of Applied Mathematics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • complex Ginzburg-Landau equation
  • dynamic bifurcation in PDEs
  • hard onset of oscillations
  • reaction-diffusion equations
  • slow passage through Hopf bifurcation
  • spatially inhomogeneous onset of oscillations
  • stationary phase method
  • steepest descents method

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