Period doubling in glow discharges: local versus global differential conductivity
Short planar glow discharges coupled to a resistive layer exhibit a wealth of spontaneous spatio-temporal patterns. Several authors have suggested effective reaction-diffusion-models to explore similarities with other pattern forming systems. To test these effective models, we here investigate the temporal oscillations of a glow discharge layer coupled to a linear resistor. We find an unexpected cascade of period doubling events. This shows that the inner structure of the discharge is more complex than can be described by a reaction-diffusion-model with negative differential conductivity.