A Cyclic Aero-mechanical Array of One-way Coupled Oscillators

Katsuo J. Maxted


One-way coupling of multi-stable elements produces novel phenomena. For example, a one-way coupled cyclic array of an odd number of bistable elements spontaneously forms solitary waves that propagate forever. Although such behavior appears to violate both energy and momentum conservation, it has been experimentally observed in hydro-mechanical and electrical arrays with externally powered coupling. This thesis describes the design, construction, and operation of a new and simpler aero-mechanical array that exhibits such phenomena. The array is designed in Mathematica and printed in ABS plastic by Shapeways. Its simplicity may make practical two-dimensional mechanical arrays where solitary waves propagate at different speeds in different directions.