Home
       
 

Chaos

   
       
 

Rott's Pendulum

Attracting Pendulum
Each of three magnets competes to attract a magnetic pendulum. Where the pendulum ends up is extremely sensitive to the starting point.

Chaotic Impacts
You control the frequency of a hammer hitting the metal strip. As you increase the frequency (hits per second) the sound changes from regular (hammer and strip movement in time) to irregular and chaotic (hammer and strip out of time).

Chaotic Reflections
A laser beam is reflected off three mirror cylinders and demonstrates chaotic behaviour.

Clockwise or Anti-Clockwise?
Comprises a simple pendulum linked by magnets to a freely-swinging arm. Start the pendulum weight swinging. After 5 swings which way is the `rotor' turning? How will it be turning after 10 swings? After 15 swings?

Coin Toss
Coin-tossing with this device is always predictable.

Fractals from Chaos
A video display plots where a magnetic attracting pendulum comes to rest for each of many starting points. This produces a familiar 'fractal' pattern.

Pinball Machine
Shows a predictable distribution of balls falling randomly through an array of nails.

Repelling Chaos
This simple magnetic pendulum swings chaotically when it is repelled by other magnets. The path is unpredictable as very small changes of starting point affect the result.

Rott's Pendulum
A T-shaped pendulum with swinging arms. The spin can be shared between the four parts (the main `T' and the three `branches') and the way the motion is shared is so sensitive to just how the spin is started, that the result is chaotic.

Spinning Magnets
Two bar magnets suspended next to each other show chaotic behaviour.

Video Feedback
This is a camera 'looking' at its own output on a TV screen. It produces chaotic swirling patterns caused by sensitivity in the feedback from screen to camera.

Weather Forecasts
Forecasts make use of enormous computer models of the atmosphere with millions of variables. As well as a main run, several alternative scenarios are run, with slightly different initial atmospheric conditions. As time goes on, these alternative forecasts can develop very differently and these are displayed in this exhibit.

 
Exploring ourselves
3-D Vision
Animation
Body
Colour
Illusions
Senses
Puzzles
 
Exploring the world
Chaos
Chemistry
Earth science
Electricity
Gases & fluids
Light
Mathematics
Measurement
Mechanics
Mirrors
Sound
Space
Stradivarium
Structures
 
More on exhibits
Top ten exhibits
Download list 
Main page
 
 
 
 
     
  2000 The Exploratory
Contact details