Synchronous oscillations and symmetry breaking in a model of two interacting ultrasound contrast agents
We study nonlinear dynamics in a system of two coupled oscillators, describing the motion of two interacting microbubble contrast agents. In the case of identical bubbles, the corresponding symmetry of the governing system of equations leads to the possibility of existence of asymptotically stable synchronous oscillations. However, it may be difficult to create absolutely identical bubbles and, moreover, it can be hard to observe in experiments regimes that are unstable with respect to perturbations of equilibrium radii of bubbles. Therefore, we investigate the stability of various synchronous and asynchronous dynamical regimes with respect to the breaking of this symmetry. We show that the main factors determining stability or instability of a synchronous attractor are the presence/absence and the type of an asynchronous attractor coexisting with the synchronous attractor. On the other hand, asynchronous hyperchaotic attractors are stable with respect to the symmetry breaking in all the situations we have studied. Therefore, they are likely to be observed in physically realistic scenarios and can be beneficial for suitable applications when chaotic behavior is desirable.