Organization of spatially localized structures near a codimension-three cusp-Turing bifurcation

Parra-Rivas, P.; Champneys, A.R.; Al-Sahadi, F.; Gomila, D. and Knobloch, E.
SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems 22, 2693-2731 (2023)

A wide variety of stationary or moving spatially localized structures is present in evolution problems on unbounded domains, governed by higher-than-second-order reversible spatial interactions. This work provides a generic unfolding in one spatial dimension of a certain codimension-three singularity that explains the organization of bifurcation diagrams of such localized states in a variety of contexts, ranging from nonlinear optics to fluid mechanics, mathematical biology and beyond. The singularity occurs when a cusp bifurcation associated with the onset of bistability between homogeneous steady states encounters a pattern-forming, or Turing, bifurcation. The latter corresponds to a Hamiltonian-Hopf point of the corresponding spatial dynamics problem. Such codimension-three points are sometimes called Lifshitz points in the physics literature. In the simplest case where the spatial system conserves a first integral, the system is described by a canonical fourth order scalar system. The problem contains three small parameters, two that unfold the cusp bifurcation and one that unfolds the Turing bifurcation. Several cases are revealed, depending on open conditions on the signs of the lowest-order nonlinear terms. Taking the case in which the Turing bifurcation is subcritical, various parameter regimes are considered and the bifurcation diagrams of localized structures are elucidated. A rich bifurcation structure is revealed, which involves transitions between
regions of localized periodic patterns generated by homoclinic snaking, and mesa-like patterns with uniform cores. The theory is shown to unify previous numerical results obtained in models arising in nonlinear optics, fluid mechanics, and excitable media more generally.

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