Field patterns occur in space–time microstructures such that a disturbance propagating along a characteristic line does not evolve into a cascade of disturbances, but rather concentrates on a pattern of characteristic lines. This pattern is the field pattern. In one spatial direction plus time, the field patterns occur when the slope of the characteristics is, in a sense, commensurate with the space–time microstructure. Field patterns with different spatial shifts do not generally interact, but rather evolve as if they live in separate dimensions, as many dimensions as the number of field patterns. Alternatively one can view a collection as a multi-component potential, with as many components as the number of field patterns. Presumably, if one added a tiny nonlinear term to the wave equation one would then see interactions between these field patterns in the multi-dimensional space that one can consider them to live, or between the different field components of the multi-component potential if one views them that way. As a result of -symmetry many of the complex eigenvalues of an appropriately defined transfer matrix have unit norm and hence the corresponding eigenvectors correspond to propagating modes. There are also modes that blow up exponentially with time.
Electronic supplementary material is available online at https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.3680647.
- Received November 9, 2016.
- Accepted January 18, 2017.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.