We report the first experimental realization of pattern formation in a spatially extended nonlinear system when the system is alternated between two states, neither of which exhibits patterning. Dynamical equations modeling the system are used for both numerical simulations and a weakly nonlinear analysis of the patterned states. The simulations show excellent agreement with the experiment. The nonlinear analysis provides an explanation of the patterning under alternation and accurately predicts both the observed dependence of the patterning on the frequency of alternation and the measured spatial frequencies of the patterns.



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This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Physical Society. The following article appeared in Physical Review Letters.

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