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Simulation of the Belousov-Zhabotinski reaction with ASCII characters

Project description



The python package you never knew you needed! Now you can appreciate all the glory of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction from the comfort of your console window in a state of the art ASCII art rendering. Your life will never be the same!

This a little python script I made for a class sometime ago. You can play around with the equations coefficients and rendering parameters with command line arguments (see usage). Besides the BZ equation there's also the FitzHugh-Nagumo (for Turing patterns), Gray-Scoot and Cahn-Hilard (simulates phase separation) equations.


The Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction is the classical examples of non-linear/oscillatory dynamics in chemical systems. The equations that describe the process are reaction-diffusion equations:

BZ Equations:

Numerally you iterate the equations in a 2D grid. The Laplace operator in a discrete grid is simply a convolution.

You can learn more about the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction here:

  • Dynamics and Chaos - Steven H. Strogatz

  • Chaotic Dynamics, an introduction - G. L. Baker and J. P. Gollub

Inspired by the following blog posts:

scipy blog

degenerate state


Should work in any python3 version

Needs numpy and scipy

See piplock file

You can pip install the python module with the following command

pip install --user belousov-zhabotinsky


$ belousov-zhabotinsky


$ python -m belousov-zhabotinsky

Check cli options with:

$ belousov-zhabotinsky --help

You can exit the program by pressing any key

  • Gray-Scott mode requires a terminal size bigger than 100x100 to work properly
  • There's a script thay can be use to plot the system in matplotlib.

$ python -m belousov-zhabotinsky.plot


  • Fix Gray-Scott
  • Make it faster

My First GitHub project; HOORAY!

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