Electronic and Mechanical Realizations of One-Way Coupling in One and Two Dimensions

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One-way or unidirectional coupling is a striking example of how topological considerations-the parity of an array of multistable elements combined with periodic boundary conditions-can qualitatively influence dynamics. Here we introduce a simple electronic model of one-way coupling in one and two dimensions and experimentally compare it to an improved mechanical model and an ideal mathematical model. In two dimensions, computation and experiment reveal richer one-way coupling phenomenology: In media where two-way coupling would dissipate all excitations, one-way coupling enables solitonlike waves to propagate in different directions with different speeds. © 2011 American Physical Society.

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