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The Chaotic Pendulum.

There are physical systems, described by simple equations, that are capable of motion so complicated as to appear random. It is a common feature of all such so-called chaotic systems that at least one non-linearity appears in the equations of motion. Under proper conditions, a pendulum can exhibit such chaotic motion. When the usual assumption that the motion be kept small is released, the restoring force becomes proportional to the sine of the displacement angle (rather than to the displacement angle itself) and the pendulum becomes a non-linear system. A damped, driven pendulum can exhibit chaotic motion for certain choices of the driving frequency, the driving amplitude, and the damping parameter. This talk will show a working demonstration of the College of Charleston Daedalon chaotic pendulum along with a computer animation chaotic pendulum motion. The talk will discuss the route to chaos that is characteristic of chaotic pendulums.
Janet Johnson, Laney Mills
Department of Physics and Astronomy
College of Charleston
COPYRIGHT 2001 South Carolina Academy of Science
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Johnson, Janet; Mills, Laney
Publication:Bulletin of the South Carolina Academy of Science
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:160
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