Rhombic Patterns: Broken Hexagonal Symmetry
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Landau-Ginzburg equations derived to conserve two-dimensional spatial symmetries lead to the prediction that rhombic arrays with characteristic angles slightly differ from 60 degrees should form in many systems. Beyond the bifurcation from the uniform state to patterns, rhombic patterns are linearly stable for a band of angles near the 60 degrees angle of regular hexagons. Experiments conducted on a reaction-diffusion system involving a chlorite-iodide-malonic acid reaction yield rhombic patterns in good accord with the theory.