A Crystal with Turing Patterns

via Quanta Magazine

But in the case of the bismuth crystal, there is no diffusion. Molecules don’t shift randomly and spread out while reacting with each other. Nevertheless, Fuseya, Kapitulnik and several collaborators began to simulate bismuth crystal growth using Turing’s equations. After three years, they ended up with a simulated pattern, published last month in Nature Physics, that looked almost identical to the stripes in the real crystal. “It was really an amazing match,” Kapitulnik said. It convinced him that Turing’s mechanism was indeed responsible for the stripes in the bismuth. And it demonstrated once again how robust and powerful Turing’s original insight was.

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