Naval Research Laboratory Scientist to Speak Friday

Posted: March 11, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Ira B. Schwartz, head of special projects in nonlinear science for the Naval Research Laboratory, is on the Fairfax Campus this week to present “Instant Chaos and Extreme Sensitivity in Coupled Mechanical Continuua” on Friday, March 16, from noon to 1 p.m. in Science and Technology I, Room 206.

One of the most well-studied problems in dynamics is that of the isolated pendulum. However, when the pendulum is connected to something flexible such as a rod, the observed dynamic behavior becomes quite complicated. In this talk, a novel bifurcation from low to high dimensional chaos is observed in a prototypical driven flexible mechanical continuum coupled to a pendulum. When the continuum is in resonance with the pendulum, the system explodes abruptly from a low dimensional periodic attractor to a high dimensional chaotic attractor. The bifurcation is shown to stem from an unstable global invariant manifold of slow frequency motions, and impacts the predictability of experiments.

The event is sponsored by the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Mathematical Sciences, and Psychology; the School of Computational Sciences; and the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study.

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