Advances in space research : the official journal of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR)

Effect of gravity field on the nonequilibrium/nonlinear chemical oscillation reactions.

PMID 11799985


Biological systems have evolved for a long time under the normal gravity. The Belousov-Zhabotinsky (BZ) reaction is a nonlinear chemical system far from the equilibrium that may be considered as a simplified chemical model of the biological systems so as to study the effect of gravity. The reaction solution is comprised of bromate in sulfuric acid as an oxidizing agent, 1,4-cyclohexanedione as an organic substrate, and ferroin as a metal catalyst. Chemical waves in the BZ reaction-diffusion system are visualized as blue and red patterns of ferriin and ferroin, respectively. After an improvement to the tubular reaction vessels in the experimental setup, the traveling velocity of chemical waves in aqueous solutions was measured in time series under normal gravity, microgravity, hyper-gravity, and normal gravity using the free-fall facility of JAMIC (Japan Microgravity Center), Hokkaido, Japan. Chemical patterns were collected as image data via CCD camera and analyzed by the software of NIH image after digitization. The estimated traveling velocity increased with increasing gravity as expected. It was clear experimentally that the traveling velocity of target patterns in reaction diffusion system was influenced by the effect of convection and correlated closely with the gravity field.