Chaos theory is the study of systems that are highly sensitive to slight, even imperceptible changes in initial conditions. This is popularly known as the butterfly effect. Many natural systems exhibit chaotic behavior, including weather and electron orbitals.

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Is the butterfly effect real?

Is the butterfly effect real? It is a well known statement that a butterfly can, by flapping her wings in a slightly different way, cause a hurricane somewhere else in the world that wouldn't occur if ...
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How far ahead can we predict solar and lunar eclipses?

The solar system is non-integrable and has chaos. The sun-earth-moon three-body system might be chaotic. So, how far into the future can we predict solar eclipses and/or lunar eclipses? How about ...
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Staying in orbit - but doesn't any perturbation start a positive feedback?

I am not a physicist; I am a software engineer. While trying to fall asleep recently, I started thinking about the following. There are many explanations online of how any object stays in orbit. The ...
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Why do many people link entropy to chaos?

I understand that, in thermodynamics, entropy has a precise definition (the infinitesimal change of entropy being the infinitesimal heat transfer divided by the temperature), and that in statistical ...
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Why is the computer useful if a chaotic system is sensitive to numeric error?

In every textbook on chaos, there are a lot of numerical simulations. A typical example is the Poincare section. But why is numerical simulation still meaningful if the system is very sensitive to ...
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The natural metric of a phase space and the Lyapunov exponent

For me, it seems that there is no apparent metric on a phase space of a dynamical system. Of course one can naively define an Euclidean metric on it, but it seems that this metric has not much to do ...
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A good, concrete example of using “chaos theory” to solve an easily understood engineering problem?

Can anyone suggest a good, concrete example of using "chaos theory" to solve an easily understood engineering problem? I'm wondering if there is a an answer of the following sort: "We have a high ...
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What creates the chaotic motion on a double pendulum?

As we know, The double pendulum has a chaotic motion. But, why is this? I mean, the mass of the two pendulums are the same and they have the same length. But, what makes its motion random? I'm just ...
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Calculate/Estimate the fractal dimention of the logistic map

This is the logistic map:. It is a fractal, as some might know here. It has a Hausdorff fractal dimension of 0.538. Is it possible to calculate/measure its fractal dimension using the box counting ...
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Chaos theory and determinism

My professor in class went a little over chaos theory, and basically said that Newtonian determinism no longer applies, since as time goes to infinity, no matter how close together two initial points ...
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Ljapunov exponent of driven damped pendulum

I have written a computer simulation of the driven damped pendulum, pretty much as the one shown here, only that I did it Python. Next, I have found some parameters for which the pendulum behaves ...
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Will glass always break in the same way?

This question has had me thinking for a while. If I have two large panes of glass and a rock or similar item is thrown in exactly the same place on the glass, would the two panes break in the same way....
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Question on the stability of the solar system

One of the pertinent questions about many body systems that causes me much wonder is why the solar system is so stable for billions of years. I came across the idea of "resonance" and albeit an useful ...
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Does the “Andromeda Paradox” (Rietdijk–Putnam-Penrose) imply a completely deterministic universe?

Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rietdijk–Putnam_argument Abstract of 1966 Rietdijk paper: A proof is given that there does not exist an event, that is not already in the past for ...
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Making new sense of the three-body problem in the light of Maryam Mirzakhani math contributions

I am unfamiliar with moduli spaces and ergodic theory which appear to be essential in Maryam Mirzakhani's math contributions which won her the Fields Medal. However, I am well conversant in essential ...
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Chaos is predictable?

I'm reading a book of computational physics [1] where the driven nonlinear pendulum is studied in depth. This is the equation derived in the book: $$ \frac{d^2\theta}{dt^2} = -\frac{g}{l}\sin\theta - ...
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Renormalizing Chaos: Transition in a Logistic Map

I am currently trying to understand the analysis of a logistic-like map $$f_\mu (x) = 1-\mu x^2$$ after section 2.2 in "Renormalization Methods" by A. Lesne. As I understand it, the physical ...
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Current scope of Chaos theory and non-linear dynamics? [closed]

I am a physics undergrad interested in stuff like dynamical systems, chaos theory etc. Is there ongoing research in these fields? I am talking about pure research and not applications to things like ...
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Is that true that real quantum chaos doesn't exist?

I read several books and papers on quantum chaos, to my understanding they all emphases that the quantum chaos does not really exist because the linearity of the Schrodinger equation. Some works were ...
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Can a small change in the Earth temperature give rise to large-scale climate changes?

Earth's atmosphere is a chaotic system. In such systems arbitrarily small changes the conditions can give rise to very large effects. There are many rumors about the physical and large scale ...
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Does chaos theory occur in quantum mechanics? Or in any non-newtonian physics?

Does chaos theory occur in quantum mechanics? Or in any non-newtonian physics? Apart from perhaps thermodynamics?
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Is long-term weather forecast impossible in principle?

This question can be asked about any chaotic dynamical system, but hydrodynamics of the atmosphere makes it more concrete. Arnold describes his 1966 result as follows: I have calculated the ...
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Does a simple double pendulum have transients?

Suppose, we have the most simple double pendulum: Both masses are equal. Both limbs are equal. No friction. No driver. Arbitrary initial conditions (no restriction to low energies) Does this ...
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Extending the ergodic theorem to non-equilibrium systems

I try to make this as short and concise as possible. For equilibrium systems in statistical mechanics, we have the Liouville's theorem which says that the volume in phase space is conserved when the ...
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What is the highest energy position for a double pendulum? And for which energy positions is it chaotic?

Math/physics teachers love to break out the double pendulum as an example of chaotic motion that is very sensitive to initial conditions. I have some questions about specific properties: For a ...
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Physical interpretation of the Lorenz system

The Lorenz equations $$ \frac{dx}{dt} = \sigma(y-x);\\ \frac{dy}{dt} = x(\rho-z)-y;\\ \frac{dz}{dt} = xy - \beta z $$ were (I believe) the first set of nonlinear equations known to exhibit chaotic ...
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Randomness, Chaos, Quantum mechanical probability functions

Can someone explain these 3 concepts into a unified framework. Randomness : Randomness as seen in a coin toss, where the system follows known and deterministic (at the length and scale and precision ...
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What is discrete phase space?

I've been reading a little about the usual, continuous Wigner functions and phase space quasi-distributions in general, and I believe I understand the idea behind them. The Wigner function arises when ...
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What is a quantum scar?

This notion was proposed by Heller in 1984. But his paper is hard to follow (at least for me). Does anyone has a good understanding? Is it just judged by the naked eye?
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Is it really impossible to calculate in advance the result of throwing dice?

Is it really impossible to calculate in advance the result of throwing dice? After all, the physics of dice throwing is in the world of classical mechanics, rather than quantum mechanics.
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How and why can random matrices answer physical problems?

Random matrix theory pops up regularly in the context of dynamical systems. I was, however, so far not able to grasp the basic idea of this formalism. Could someone please provide an instructive ...
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Are a quantum mechanical system a chaotic (yet deterministic) system?

The title is slightly misleading. I really want to know if the randomness and probabilities observed in quantum mechanics is really just the result of a chaotic (yet deterministic) system. If it is ...
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What is a physical example of a Saddle-Node Bifurcation?

I am doing a presentation on bifurcations and would like physical examples to go along with each type of bifurcation but I am unable to find or think of any good example of a simple Saddle Node ...
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Non-integrability of the 2D double pendulum

Context: For a system with $n$ degrees of freedom (DOF), one has to deal with $2n$ independent coordinates ($2n$ dimensional phase space), of position $q$ and $\dot{q}$ in Lagrangian formulation, ...
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What is the Quantum equivalent of chaos on a classical system? (if there's any)

This is a question that bugging me around for some time now. It is not clear to me what is the meaning of a chaos if we consider a quantum system. What is the mathematical formalism (or the quantum ...
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Is a falling leaf an example of a chaotic system?

Let´s assume is a wind still day in autumn. When a little change is made in the initial motion of a leaf at the time it falls off a tree, the resulting path of motion of the leaf is very different ...
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Physics-oriented books on fractals

I'm looking for some good books on fractals, with a spin to applications in physics. Specifically, applications of fractal geometry to differential equations and dynamical systems, but with emphasis ...
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Chaos and integrability in classical mechanics

An Liouville integrable system admits a set of action-angle variables and is by definition non-chaotic. Is the converse true however, are non-integrable systems automatically chaotic? Are there any ...
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Does the logistic map have an attractor for a particular value of the parameter?

Background: Currently I am studying a course on non-linear dynamics. We have been studying about attractors only intuitively, so I do not have a definition for an attractor. Let me give you a couple ...
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Stability theory [closed]

I'm studying stability theory recently and met a lot of phrases like linear stability and nonlinear instability. After searching on Google, I became more confused. Thus I wonder if there is any ...
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Help explore a self-feedback camera-monitor chaotic system

We are trying to emulate the chaotic system Jim Al-Khalili demonstrate (3 min video). In our chaos lab, we are trying to research the chaotic system shown in the video. We are using just a webcam and ...
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“windows of order” in the Bifurcation diagram

When looking at the bifurcation diagram of a chaotic system, one observes "windows of order", namely short intervals where the system briefly leaves its chaotic state and then rapidly returns to chaos....
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Is the orbit of earth around the sun chaotic?

The orbit of the earth seems to be very predictable. But as it is a many-body problem having sun, earth, moon, jupiter and so on, is it really that stable or will it start making strange movements ...
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Motion of a bouncing sphere with a spring attached inside

Imagine a sphere with inside a spring attached (between opposite sides). You let it fall from a certain height, after which it bounces from a flat surface. The sphere is rigid. Will the following ...
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Analytic proof that Lyapunov exponents in Hamiltonian systems pairwise sum to zero

I have read that in Hamiltonian systems, Lyapunov exponents come in pairs $(\lambda_i, \lambda_{2N-i+1})$ such that their sum is equal to zero. Is there a way of proving this analytically? EDIT: ...
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What is a “stochastic web”?

In this lecture-video (at about 37:17) on Hamiltonian dynamics, the instructor mentions that for an (Arnold-Liouville) integrable finite-dimensional Hamiltonian system one has the following: Phase-...
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Do all equillibrium points of a discrete mapping show up on the bifurcation diagram?

The question in the title is perhaps vaguely posed, so I'll include the concrete example which is bugging me. Suppose we have a mapping given by $$N_{t+1}=N_t\cdot \exp(r(1-N_t-PN_t/(\alpha^2+N_t^2)))...
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Calculating Lyapunov exponents from a multi-dimensional experimental time series

Wolf's paper Determining Lyapunov Exponents from a Time Series states that: Experimental data typically consist of discrete measurements of a single observable. The well-known technique of phase ...
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About Poincare section for the double pendulum

I am reading Prof. Louis N. Hand's Analytical Mechanics. In the chapter about chaos, it introduces the concepts of Poincare section based on the example of double pendulum. Also, it plot the section ...
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Phase Space dimension of Lorenz Strange Attractor

It is often discussed in 3 spatial dimensions and the need for third dimension to prevent self intersection is mentioned. But shouldn't the phase space of the Lorenz system be 6 dimensional, i.e., the ...