### randomly oscillating magnetic pendulum

"Chaos" describes the apparently random behaviour of systems which are actually exhibiting very mechanical behaviour. Most people think of physical behaviours as being either deterministic or random. If you know the starting conditions in a deterministic system, you know exactly what the future behaviour will be. In contrast, random systems are unpredictable. Much to the frustration of scientists, numerous systems seem to be random. In particular, weather, vibrating structures, and subatomic particle dynamics are considered random, and most scientists have simply settled for statistical descriptions which are poor for drawing any concrete conclusions.

An emerging field of science has revealed that many systems previously believed to be random are actually described by systems of deterministic mathematical equations. Prior to the availability of computer graphics, such chaotic systems were difficult to visualize. However it is now possible to visualize chaotic systems from which emerge elegant patterns such as fractals and "strange attractions", thus giving rise to the phrase "order out of chaos".

An essential characteristic of a chaotic system is its sensitivity to tiny differences in initial conditions. Any difference in a chaotic system's initial conditions grows exponentially as the system evolves over time. Eventually, the magnified difference results in apparently unique and random behaviour despite the similarity of the initial conditions. Even though full knowledge of such conditions would in theory permit long term predictions of a chaotic system's behaviour, it is impossible to know them all to the infinite precision necessary. Thus, we may possibly never make reliable long term weather predictions.

[from ROMP Instruction Book]

An emerging field of science has revealed that many systems previously believed to be random are actually described by systems of deterministic mathematical equations. Prior to the availability of computer graphics, such chaotic systems were difficult to visualize. However it is now possible to visualize chaotic systems from which emerge elegant patterns such as fractals and "strange attractions", thus giving rise to the phrase "order out of chaos".

An essential characteristic of a chaotic system is its sensitivity to tiny differences in initial conditions. Any difference in a chaotic system's initial conditions grows exponentially as the system evolves over time. Eventually, the magnified difference results in apparently unique and random behaviour despite the similarity of the initial conditions. Even though full knowledge of such conditions would in theory permit long term predictions of a chaotic system's behaviour, it is impossible to know them all to the infinite precision necessary. Thus, we may possibly never make reliable long term weather predictions.

[from ROMP Instruction Book]

## 2 comments:

Any ideas where I could get a copy of the instruction booklet? A friend gave me romp as a gift but it was missing its book.

Any ideas where I could get a copy of the instruction booklet? A friend gave me romp as a gift but it was missing its book.

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