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Application of an effective medium theory to the study of chemical waves in micro-emulsions

The formation and evolution of water droplets in oil is a typical soft matter problem. The characteristic size of such droplets can change several orders of magnitude and can be controlled by the introduction of surfactants. Recently this system has been employed to the study of the propagation of chemical waves. Such heterogeneous media gives rise to the formations of spiral waves or Turing patterns and, furthermore, to a large number of new patterns. I will discuss several of the recent results and the possible numerical strategies to simulate such systems. In particular, I will focus on the case of small droplets forming micro-emulsions, where an effective medium theory can be derived and it is successfully applied in a simple generic model to reproduce the main characteristics of the patterns obtained in experiments.

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