We show how pattern formation in Faraday waves may be manipulated by varying the harmonic content of the periodic forcing function. Our approach relies on the crucial influence of resonant triad interactions coupling pairs of critical standing wave modes with damped, spatiotemporally resonant modes. Under the assumption of weak damping and forcing, we perform a symmetry-based analysis that reveals the damped modes most relevant for pattern selection, and how the strength of the corresponding triad interactions depends on the forcing frequencies, amplitudes, and phases. In many cases, the further assumption of Hamiltonian structure in the inviscid limit determines whether the given triad interaction has an enhancing or suppressing effect on related patterns. Surprisingly, even for forcing functions with arbitrarily many frequency components, there are at most five frequencies that affect each of the important triad interactions at leading order. The relative phases of those forcing components play a key role, sometimes making the difference between an enhancing and suppressing effect. In numerical examples, we examine the validity of our results for larger values of the damping and forcing. Finally, we apply our findings to one-dimensional periodic patterns obtained with impulsive forcing and to two-dimensional superlattice patterns and quasipatterns obtained with multifrequency forcing.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/chad_topaz/6/