The dynamics of the petal-like patterns observed in a liquid crystal light valve with optical feedback are investigated both experimentally and numerically. Based on a phenomenological model, the linear stability analysis predicts the bistability of the liquid crystal tilt angle for several voltage ranges that agrees with the experimental results. The static and dynamical features of the petal patterns obtained in the numerical simulation are very close to the experimental observations. When increasing the voltage applied to the light valve, the numerical simulations reveal a scenario of bifurcation from the static to a fluctuating petal pattern, which is confirmed by the experimental observations.
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