ASA 129th Meeting - Washington, DC - 1995 May 30 .. Jun 06

2pED7. 15 minutes of chaos.

Murray S. Korman

Dept. of Phys., U.S. Naval Acad., Annapolis, MD 21402

Lawrence A. Crum

Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA 98105

Apparatus (both mechanical and electrical) will be presented to illustrate the complexities of a certain nonlinear behavior termed as chaos. In this demonstration, you will see a ``chaos man'' (a store bought sticklike compound pendulum) oscillate with a very complex motion. A simple pendulum will be made to oscillate (inverted) with the pivot at the bottom and the mass at the top. An electric circuit (modeling a nonlinear mechanical system) will be used to demonstrate chaotic behavior---which occurs when the system is driven with sufficient amplitude at certain frequencies.