Antony Hall
Exhibitions & Projects | Biography & Press
| Works | BZ reaction 2007
BZ reaction Film/installation detail, Enter 3, Mutamorphosis 2007, Prauge.

BZ reaction

The Belousov-Zhabotinskii reaction (or BZ reaction) is performed using a mixture of sodium bromate, malonic acid, sulphuric acid, and ferroin. This creates a complex oxidising reaction that changes colour periodically. The oscillations start with the formation in a red solution of small blue dots that expand into ever-widening concentric blue rings. Sometimes these will become expanding Archimedean spirals; the patterns intermix and become increasingly complex towards the end of the reaction. These waves are not mechanical in the same sense a ripple can be considered; instead these waves show information traveling.

The reaction was discovered in 1951, but more recently the reaction has been used to study the possibly applications of liquid computers using chemical waves.

This mixture we used was;

* Malonic Acid - 0.2 M/L
* Sodium Bromate - 0.3 M/L
* Sulfuric Acid - 0.3 M/L
* Ferroin - 0.005 M/L

" Similar Spiral Patterns have been observed in dishes of social amoebae in a slime mould. Individual cells communicate in spiral waves at a certain stage in their life cycles when they synthesise and hoard molecules of a hormone called cAMP, to be suddenly released in an abrupt ‘sneeze’. Professor Winfree suggests that this cAMP diffusion is perhaps in effect "a living fossil replaying events that were common during evolution from unicellular to multi cellular organisms two billion years ago". The spirals rotate at about the same period as the chemical wave in the B-Z reaction, with about the same speed and spacing. The tiny rotating source at the core of a spiral wave is called a ‘rotor’, and the term ‘pacemaker’refers to the variably longer-period sources of concentric ring wave s..."

What the BZ reaction (BZR) is?

An Analysis of the Belousov-Zhabotinskii Reaction

The Phenomenology of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky Reaction*

Computer simulations, which allow exploration of five different cellular automata "All of them use a 2-dimensional array of cells which can vary in size from 33x33 to 528x528. "Periodic boundary conditions" are used, meaning that the left edge of the array wraps around to contact the right edge, and the top edge of the array wraps around to contact the bottom edge. The structure is thus that of a tours, although it is easier to think of a 2-dimensional plane in which an unlimited number of copies of the square array are reproduced next to, and above and below, each other (and each copy changes in the same way)."

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