Physics - Classical Mechanics - Chaos and Chaotic Oscillation

in STEMGeeks4 months ago



Hey it's a me again @drifter1!

Today we continue with Physics, and more specifically the branch of "Classical Mechanics" in order to get into Chaos and Chaotic Oscillation.

So, without further ado, let's get straight into it!

Chaos and Unpredictability

Up to this point, we basically considered that any behavior in a system is predictable. But, the sad truth is that even the best physical laws can in-practice be invalid. There will always be some kind of randomness and unpredictability in a system, which can't be ignored. Such a behavior is commonly referred to as chaotic behavior or simply chaos.

Of course, we came a long way with science, and the initial perception that everything is unpredictable, mainly because it is complicated, has faded away over the centuries. But, the world is not completely deterministic, and that's where Newton's Classical Mechanics start to lose their power.

Systems that include chaos are considered non-linear, and therefore described by non-linear models. For example, fluids are a great example of such a system. And, let's not forget to mention any kind of Quantum Physics, where most properties are unpredictable basically "by definition".

Chaotic Oscillation

Chaos in a system doesn't always have to be completely unpredictable and random. A system can show a periodic oscillatory time dependence. The behavior can thus at some points in time or transitions between the various states be periodically predictable.

Other behavior that isn't time-dependent and thus "more" random can only be described and analyzed statistically. These instabilities in a system are known as noise. If these are small fluctuations, they can be safely left out when studying macroscopic motions, as the error is small.






Mathematical equations used in this article, where made using quicklatex.

Visualizations were made using

Previous articles of the series

Rectlinear motion

Plane motion

Newton's laws and Applications

Work and Energy

Momentum and Impulse

Angular Motion

Equilibrium and Elasticity


Periodic Motion

Final words | Next up

And this is actually it for today's post!

Now that we've finished Periodic Motion (Oscillation), we can continue with other topics of Mechanics, such as Fluids, Waves, Sound etc.

Not too sure about when that will happen though...

See ya!

Keep on drifting!

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