Effects of spatial diffusion on nonequilibrium steady states in a model for prebiotic evolution

B. F. Intoy, A. Wynveen, J. W. Halley

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Effects of spatial diffusion in a Kauffman-like model for prebiotic evolution previously studied in a "well-mixed" limit are reported. The previous model was parametrized by a parameter p defined as the probability that a possible reaction in a network of reactions characterizing the artificial chemistry actually appears in the chemical network. In the model reported here, we numerically study a grid of such well-mixed reactors on a two-dimensional spatial lattice in which the model chemical constituents can hop between neighboring reactors at a rate controlled by a second parameter η. We report the frequency of appearance of three distinct types of nonequilibrium steady states, characterized as "diffusively alive locally dead" (DALD), "diffusively dead locally alive" (DDLA) and "diffusively alive locally alive" (DALA). The types are defined according to whether they are chemically equilibrated at each site, diffusively equilibrated between sites, or neither, respectively. With our parametrization of the definitions of these nonequilibrium states, many of the DALA states are growing rapidly in population due to the explosive population growth of a few sites, while their entropy remains well below its equilibrium value. Sharp temporal transitions occur as exploding sites appear. DALD states occur less commonly than the other types and also usually harbor a few explosively growing sites but transitions are less sharp than in DALA systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number042424
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 28 2016

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© 2016 American Physical Society.


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