Synchronizing Chaos with Imperfections

Yoshiki Sugitani, Yuanzhao Zhang, and Adilson E. Motter
Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 164101

Previous research on nonlinear oscillator networks has shown that chaos synchronization is attainable for identical oscillators but deteriorates in the presence of parameter mismatches. Here, we identify regimes for which the opposite occurs and show that oscillator heterogeneity can synchronize chaos for conditions under which identical oscillators cannot. This effect is not limited to small mismatches and is observed for random oscillator heterogeneity on both homogeneous and heterogeneous network structures. The results are demonstrated experimentally using networks of Chua’s oscillators and are further supported by numerical simulations and theoretical analysis. In particular, we propose a general mechanism based on heterogeneity-induced mode mixing that provides insights into the observed phenomenon. Since individual differences are ubiquitous and often unavoidable in real systems, it follows that such imperfections can be an unexpected source of synchronization stability.

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