Atrial fibrillation, roughly speaking, starts when the end of a complete cycle of a heartbeat overlaps with the beginning of the next heartbeat, which makes the heart behave in a chaotic way (fibrillation).

Can we say that the same mechanism is at work here as the mechanism that makes the regular dripping of a tap (the regular beating of the heart), transform in a chaotic dripping (unpredictable dripping)?

I mean, in the case of regular falling droplets and we speed up the dripping, as some point the falling drop is influenced by the next droplet that is going to fall down. So the falling of one drop and the next one overlap (like the two heartbeats in the case of atrial fibrillation). So, in a way, the dripping tap enters a state of "fibrillation"?

In both cases, there is a point, when it is passed, a regular, linear pattern (the regular heart beating and the regular falling of droplets) changes into a chaotic non-linear "pattern". In both the examples this happens if the regular beats or droplets overlap and cause non-linear behavior.

At least that's what I think. Do the same principles determine the behavior of atrial defibrillation and the chaotic behavior of the nonregular falling of droplets?

  • $\begingroup$ Did you check the literature for chaotic cardiac dynamics? There's already quite some work published. $\endgroup$ – stafusa Jul 15 at 21:24
  • $\begingroup$ I didn't read all of it, off course, but my doctor showed me on the back of an envelope that if subsequent heartbeats overlap this can trigger chaotic cardiac dynamics. I thought this was the same mechanism by which a chaotic dripping pattern of the droplets dripping from a tap emerges: before a droplet has fallen (or a heartbeat has come to a full cycle) the next droplet (heartbeat) is already there, so the system becomes non-linear. $\endgroup$ – descheleschilder Jul 16 at 15:48
  • $\begingroup$ Sounds interesting. If I had the time right now, would take a look at it. $\endgroup$ – stafusa Jul 16 at 16:30
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, @stafusa! $\endgroup$ – descheleschilder Jul 17 at 13:36
  • $\begingroup$ @descheleschilder, could you give a link to a picture or video where a chaotic dripping pattern of droplets dripping from a tap emerges? I can’t imagine how it looks $\endgroup$ – Aleksey Druggist Jul 17 at 14:44

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