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Michael Menzinger

Michael Menzinger

Academic Title: Emeritus Professor

Phone: 416-978-6158

Office: LM 605


Research Homepage: http://www.chem.utoronto.ca/staff/menzinger/pub.htm


This group studies, by theory and experiment, mechanisms by which nonlinear reactive flows self-organize. The insights are applied to real-world processes. A second field of study deals with the dynamics of networks.

(1) Our group has done seminal work on pattern formation in open reactive flows (ORFs) . We discovered the differential flow instability (DIFI) and showed how it governs the dynamic response of packed bed reactors (PBR). Further we explore the flow-distributed oscillation mechanism (FDO) of pattern formation in flows of oscillating media that are forced at the inflow. We showed that FDO plays a key role in the transverse segmentation of embryos. Recent work has brought to light unexplored aspects of DIFI and of FDO. One project is to take the biological segmentation work beyond its proof-of-principle and show by reverse engineering how delicately modulated body plans (unequal body segments and limb structures) can be formed.

Given their key role in PBR dynamics and in biological development, we continue exploring fundamental aspects of ORFs, such as wave instability, mode selection and bistability. Experiments, in collaboration with the University of Santiago de Compostela , serve to validate theoretical predictions and to advance the discovery of new phenomena.

(2) The relation between structure and function of complex networks is important in many fields of biology, technology and society.

Understanding the roles that node dynamics and inter-node coupling play in the collective dynamics is still in an early stage. Among others, we are interested in the effect of community structure on the synchronizability of oscillator networks.

Selected Publications

A. Rovinsky and M. Menzinger; Chemical Instability induced by a Differential Flow (Part 1: Theory): Phys.Rev.Lett. 69 , 1993 (1992). (Part 2: Experiments): Phys.Rev.Lett. 70 , 778 (1993).

Menzinger M, Yakhnin V, Jaree A, Silveston PL , Hudgins RR, Dynamic responses of packed bed reactors. Chem.Eng.Sci. 59 , 4011 (2004).

M.Kaern, M.Menzinger, Flow-Distributed Oscillations: Stationary chemical waves in a reacting flow. Phys.Rev.E 60 , R3471 (1999).

M.Kaern, M.Menzinger, Experiments on flow-distributed oscillations in the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction. J.Phys.Chem.A 106 , 4897 (2002).

M.Kaern, M.Menzinger, A.Hunding; Segmentation and Somitogenesis derived from phase dynamics in growing oscillatory media. J.Theor.Biol. 207 , 473 (2000).

M.Kaern, M.Menzinger, R.A.Satnoianu, A.Hunding; Chemical waves in open flows of active media: their relevance to axial segmentation in biology.Faraday Disc. 120 , 295-312 (2001).

McGraw PL ; Menzinger M. General theory of non-linear flow-distributed oscillations.Phys. Rev. E 68 , 066122 (2003).

Mc.Graw P, Menzinger M. Pattern formation by boundary forcing in convectively unstable, oscillatory media with and without differential transport. Phys.Rev. E 72 , 026210 (2005).

McGraw PL ; Menzinger M. Topology and computational performance of attractor neural networks Phys.Rev.E 68, 047102 (2003).

McGraw P, Menzinger M, Clustering and the synchronization of networks.Phys. Rev. E 72 , 015101 (2005).

Patrick N. McGraw and Michael Menzinger, Analysis of nonlinear synchronization dynamics of oscillator networks by Laplacian spectral methods.Phys. Rev. E 75 , 027104 (2007)