# American Institute of Mathematical Sciences

December  2009, 2(4): 851-872. doi: 10.3934/dcdss.2009.2.851

## Homoclinic orbits of the FitzHugh-Nagumo equation: The singular-limit

 1 Mathematics Department, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States 2 Center for Applied Mathematics, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, United States

Received  September 2008 Revised  April 2009 Published  September 2009

The FitzHugh-Nagumo equation has been investigated with a wide array of different methods in the last three decades. Recently a version of the equations with an applied current was analyzed by Champneys, Kirk, Knobloch, Oldeman and Sneyd [5] using numerical continuation methods. They obtained a complicated bifurcation diagram in parameter space featuring a C-shaped curve of homoclinic bifurcations and a U-shaped curve of Hopf bifurcations. We use techniques from multiple time-scale dynamics to understand the structures of this bifurcation diagram based on geometric singular perturbation analysis of the FitzHugh-Nagumo equation. Numerical and analytical techniques show that if the ratio of the time-scales in the FitzHugh-Nagumo equation tends to zero, then our singular limit analysis correctly represents the observed CU-structure. Geometric insight from the analysis can even be used to compute bifurcation curves which are inaccessible via continuation methods. The results of our analysis are summarized in a singular bifurcation diagram.
Citation: John Guckenheimer, Christian Kuehn. Homoclinic orbits of the FitzHugh-Nagumo equation: The singular-limit. Discrete & Continuous Dynamical Systems - S, 2009, 2 (4) : 851-872. doi: 10.3934/dcdss.2009.2.851
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