In this survey paper, we begin with a brief history of the celebrated Belousov-Zhabotinskii (BZ) reaction. In particular, we consider the BZ reaction in a continuously stirred, closed vessel in the presence of a ferroin indicator. We examine the underlying chemical kinetics of the most significant reactions involved. This leads to the Oregonator model and an associated 3 x 3 system of nonlinear ordinary differential equations. We nondimensionalize this system and further reduce it to a 2 x 2 stiff system. Relaxation oscillations are expected and an analysis of the phase plane confirms this. Finally, we solve the system numerically for a certain set of system parameters and compare our computations with experimental results.

Author Bio

I am currently a high school senior at Calhoun High Schoolin Port Lavaca, Texas. I began work on this project involving theBelousov-Zhabotinskii Reaction in the summer of 2001 while participating inthe Baylor University High School Summer Science Research Program. Workingwith Dr. John Davis, we analyzed the BZ reaction using chemistry and mathematics. Our analysis included lab work and computer simulations usingthe software Mathematica. I will graduate in May 2002 and plan to attend Baylor University as a pre-medicine biology major.