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Slow passage through multiple bifurcation points

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  • The slow passage problem, the slow variation of a control parameter, is explored in a model problem that posses several co-existing equilibria (fixed points, limit cycles and 2-tori), and these are either created or destroyed or change their stability as control parameters are varied through Hopf, Neimark-Sacker and torus break-up bifurcations. The slow passage through the Hopf bifurcation behaves as determined in previous studies (the delay in the observation of oscillations depends only on how far from critical the ramped parameter is at the start of the ramp--a memory effect), and that through the Neimark-Sacker bifurcation also behaves similarly. We show that the range of the ramped parameter over which a Hopf oscillation can be observed (limited by the subsequent onset of torus oscillations from the Neimark-Sacker bifurcation) is twice that predicted from a static-parameter bifurcation analysis, and this is a memory-less result independent of the initial value of the ramped parameter. These delay and memory effects are independent of the ramp rate, for small enough ramp rates. The slow passage through the torus break-up bifurcation is qualitatively different. It does not depend on the initial value of the ramped parameter, but instead is found to depend, on average, on the square-root of the ramp rate. This is typical of transient behavior. We show that this transient behavior is due to the stable and unstable manifolds of the saddle limit cycles forming a very narrow escape tunnel for trajectories originating near the unstable 2-torus no matter how slow a ramp speed is used. The type of bifurcation sequence in the model problem studied (Hopf, Neimark-Sacker, torus break-up) is typical of those for the transition to spatio-temporal chaos in hydrodynamic problems, and in those physical problems the transition can occur over a very small range of the control parameter, and so the inevitable slow drift of the parameter in an experiment may lead to observations where the slow passage results reported here need to be taken into account.
    Mathematics Subject Classification: Primary: 37B55, 74H60; Secondary: 70K70.


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