Chimera states in networks of phase oscillators: the case of two small populations
Panaggio, Mark J.
Abrams, Daniel M.
Laing, Carlo R.
Chimera states are dynamical patterns in networks of coupled oscillators in which regions of synchronous and asynchronous oscillation coexist. Although these states are typically observed in large ensembles of oscillators and analyzed in the continuum limit, chimeras may also occur in systems with finite (and small) numbers of oscillators. Focusing on networks of $2N$ phase oscillators that are organized in two groups, we find that chimera states, corresponding to attracting periodic orbits, appear with as few as two oscillators per group and demonstrate that for $N>2$ the bifurcations that create them are analogous to those observed in the continuum limit. These findings suggest that chimeras, which bear striking similarities to dynamical patterns in nature, are observable and robust in small networks that are relevant to a variety of real-world systems.