SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lorenz Attractor. Computer-digitized image of the Lorenz Attractor, a three dimensional graph produced by chaos mathematics. The pattern, which consists of two spirals at an angle to each other and is also known as the Lorenz butterfly, is made by plotting the solution to three simple equations, where one of the variables is thought of as time. As time changes, the solution traces an orbit, building up the double-spiral pattern. The system never exactly repeats and the trajectory never intersects itself. The result is a plot of infinite complexity confined within a simple structure. Lorenz's Attractor was discovered by Edward Lorenz in the early 1960s during research into the non-repeatability of weather patterns.
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