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Mean-field and mean-ensemble frequencies of a system of coupled oscillators

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Article number032908
Journal publication date18/03/2013
JournalPhysical Review E
Number of pages12
Original languageEnglish


We investigate interacting phase oscillators whose mean field is at a different frequency from the mean or mode of their natural frequencies. The associated asymmetries lead to a macroscopic traveling wave. We show that the mean-ensemble frequency of such systems differs from their entrainment frequency. In some scenarios these frequencies take values that, counterintuitively, lie beyond the limits of the natural frequencies. The results indicate that a clear distinction should be drawn between the two variables describing the macroscopic dynamics of cooperative systems. This has important implications for real systems where a nontrivial distribution of parameters is common.

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©2013 American Physical Society