Classical chaos

Classical chaos

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This image is part of the feature Atomic Art

Credit: ERIC HELLER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Classical chaos. Computer model of rotators as an example of classical chaos. Chaos describes those complex dynamical systems where patterns are seen but the behaviour is unpredictable. Rotators have components that rotate independently of each other and the overall motion of the rotator. The simple examples here are rigid bars attached end-to-end, but allowed to swing around the attachment point. If there are three or more bars, the rotation is chaotic and is independent of the forward movement of the whole system. Three four-segmented (colour- coded segments) rotators are moving over fainter colliding rotators. This model was produced as an artwork by Professor Eric Heller.

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