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The field of self-organization in nonequilibrium chemical systems comprises the study of dynamical phenomena in chemically reacting systems far from equilibrium. Systematic exploration of this area began with investigations of the temporal behavior of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillating reaction, discovered accidentally in the former Soviet Union in the 1950s. The field soon advanced into chemical waves in excitable media and propagating fronts. With the systematic design of oscillating reactions in the 1980s and the discovery of Turing patterns in the 1990s, the scope of these studies expanded dramatically. The articles in this Focus Issue provide an overview of the development and current state of the field. © 2006 American Institute of Physics.

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