Dynamic polarization random walk model and fishbone-like instability for self-organized critical systems

Alexander V. Milovanov

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We study the phenomenon of self-organized criticality (SOC) as a transport problem for electrically charged particles. A model for SOC based on the idea of a dynamic polarization response with random walks of the charge carriers gives critical exponents consistent with the results of numerical simulations of the traditional 'sandpile' SOC models, and stability properties, associated with the scaling of the control parameter versus distance to criticality. Relaxations of a supercritical system to SOC are stretched-exponential similar to the typically observed properties of non-Debye relaxation in disordered amorphous dielectrics. Overdriving the system near self-organized criticality is shown to have a destabilizing effect on the SOC state. This instability of the critical state constitutes a fascinating nonlinear system in which SOC and nonlocal properties can appear on an equal footing. The instability cycle is qualitatively similar to the internal kink ('fishbone') mode in a magnetically confined toroidal plasma where beams of energetic particles are injected at high power, and has serious implications for the functioning of complex systems. Theoretical analyses, presented here, are the basis for addressing the various patterns of self-organized critical behavior in connection with the strength of the driving. The results of this work also suggest a type of mixed behavior in which the typical multi-scale features due to SOC can coexist along with the global or coherent features as a consequence of the instability present. An example of this coexistence is speculated for the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043034
Pages (from-to)-
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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