Sensitivity to Initial Conditions in Chaos

While there is no agreement on a definition of chaos, sensitivity to initial conditions is usually considered an important marker. This Demonstration compares plots of a driven pendulum in a chaotic regime, started at two slightly different positions, to the same pendulum restricted to a regime of periodic orbits. The periodic regime varies the periodic driving force amplitude from 0.05 to 0.5 instead of from 0.1 to 1.0. The larger range includes a number of periodic orbits as well as chaotic ones.



  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]
  • [Snapshot]


Snapshot 1: quick coalescence to a periodic attractor
Snapshot 2: rapid divergence of trajectories in the chaotic regime
Snapshot 3: periodic attractor at a later time
Snapshot 4: trajectories can converge and diverge again; this is a period-two trajectory
The equation of motion is , with and .


    • Share:

Embed Interactive Demonstration New!

Just copy and paste this snippet of JavaScript code into your website or blog to put the live Demonstration on your site. More details »

Files require Wolfram CDF Player or Mathematica.

Mathematica »
The #1 tool for creating Demonstrations
and anything technical.
Wolfram|Alpha »
Explore anything with the first
computational knowledge engine.
MathWorld »
The web's most extensive
mathematics resource.
Course Assistant Apps »
An app for every course—
right in the palm of your hand.
Wolfram Blog »
Read our views on math,
science, and technology.
Computable Document Format »
The format that makes Demonstrations
(and any information) easy to share and
interact with.
STEM Initiative »
Programs & resources for
educators, schools & students.
Computerbasedmath.org »
Join the initiative for modernizing
math education.
Step-by-Step Solutions »
Walk through homework problems one step at a time, with hints to help along the way.
Wolfram Problem Generator »
Unlimited random practice problems and answers with built-in step-by-step solutions. Practice online or make a printable study sheet.
Wolfram Language »
Knowledge-based programming for everyone.
Powered by Wolfram Mathematica © 2018 Wolfram Demonstrations Project & Contributors  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  RSS Give us your feedback
Note: To run this Demonstration you need Mathematica 7+ or the free Mathematica Player 7EX
Download or upgrade to Mathematica Player 7EX
I already have Mathematica Player or Mathematica 7+