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Chaos Theory is a very important area of mathematics which can explain a lot of what we see in the real world.  A pendulum with one mass is relatively easy to explain mathematically, and it behaves nicely. However if you put another mass in there, it behaves chaotically. Technically, this means that if you change the starting positions only slightly, the state of the system a short time later can change drastically.  The weather is chaotic- a small error in measuring it today could be the difference between rain and no rain in a few days’ time. Watch these two pendulum systems quickly diverge, though they both start off with nearly the same settings. [more] [code]

Chaos Theory is a very important area of mathematics which can explain a lot of what we see in the real world.  A pendulum with one mass is relatively easy to explain mathematically, and it behaves nicely. However if you put another mass in there, it behaves chaotically. Technically, this means that if you change the starting positions only slightly, the state of the system a short time later can change drastically.  The weather is chaotic- a small error in measuring it today could be the difference between rain and no rain in a few days’ time. Watch these two pendulum systems quickly diverge, though they both start off with nearly the same settings. [more] [code]

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Matt Henderson

I post original stuff about maths, space, computational linguistics and other things that I like. This blog is meant to be accessible and interesting to people of all backgrounds. My undergrad was maths in Cambridge, and I'm now starting research in Speech and Language technology. Email me at If you're new, check out this overview of my posts. All code posted is in Mathematica.

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