mark fell





Belousov–Zhabotinsky reaction

Academics from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and Rotherham based artist Mark Fell are turning the Arts Tower into a 255-foot art installation that uses computer controlled lighting to display simulations of complex chemical reactions reactions.

The first computer simulations of these chemical reactions were performed by Alan Turing, famous for breaking the Enigma code in World War 2. He proposed that chemical reactions may underly pattern formation in nature such as the stripes on fishskin or the spots on lepoards. It has also been shown that the irregular heartbeats associated with a heart attack are the result of similar spiral pattern formation in the electrochemical signals within the heart.

The 2d simulation featured on the FOTM website is of the Belousov–Zhabotinsky chemical reaction. This reaction can form spiral waves in a petri-dish and in the simulation, white corresponds to high concentrations of a particular acid used in the reaction. The strip of lights on the arts tower is being used to represent these concentration changes along a line vertically through the simulation.

© mark fell, modified September 16, 2014, at 08:05 AM PDT edit print