Image of Diffusion Limited Aggregation |
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We defined a singular case of this dynamics, for degenerate domains, and found analytic solutions for the simplest cases, which are slit domains.

One can think of the evolution as the growth of needle crystals
by deposition of material. The needles can simply grow along
their length -- this is one possible consequence of the dynamics.
The singular nature of the Green's function means that all growth
is at the tip, so that slit domains stay slit domains.
A non-obvious (but plausible)
consequence of the dynamics is that longer needles
can "shadow" short needles and grow at their expense.
We were able to describe the evolution exactly of certain slit domains
like the one shown. Remarkably, the dynamics is not deterministic!
At any time, a needle tip may bifurcate into two tips growing
at an angle to each other. The allowed angles are restricted
only by the "shadowing" mentioned above. This means that solutions
to the governing equations, an infinite system of ODE's, are
"maximally non-unique." Every solution has infinitely many
other solutions tangent to it at every point.

This research project was continued by the 1992 REU group. It led to two publications:

- M. Peterson, "Nonuniqueness in Singular Viscous Fingering," Phys. Rev. Letters 62 (1989), 284-287.
- J. Ferry and M. Peterson, "Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking in Needle Crystal Growth," Phys. Rev. A39 (1989), 2740-2742.

- Diane Carlyle, Mount Holyoke College '90
- James Ferry, MIT, '89
- Catherine Magetteri, Holy Cross '89
- Jeff Schaeffer, MIT, '89

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