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Modeling and Imaging Mechanical Chaos

TitleModeling and Imaging Mechanical Chaos
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsBailey, M. J.
Conference NameASME 2005 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Pagination95 - 99
Date Published09/2005
Conference LocationLong Beach, California

The word “chaotic system” [Peitgen92] describes a system whose outputs are very sensitive to its initial conditions. Because of their inherent complex nature, chaotic systems are difficult to visualize and understand. This paper describes the visualization of a mechanical chaotic system — a magnetic pendulum. The program uses dynamics modeling and imaging, so that a user can experiment with different configurations and then visualize how that configuration responds to all input conditions. The result shows interesting patterns and insights into the mechanical system itself. This same technique would be applicable to visualizing many other chaotic systems.