By Timothy D. Jones
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Chaos Lab puts the beauty of chaos in your hands.
With a tilt of your device, you control the parameters of beautiful mathematical objects called strange attractors, the reaction rates of a chemical oscillator, the position of two stars in a 3-body chaos simulation, and the shape of the Julian fractal.
Now you can be an experimentalist and an artist. Using real-time integration of over 6,000 points for the attractors whose parameters are tied to your motion, over 7,000 data points for a fractal which morphs at your command, ten "asteroids" demonstrating chaotic sensitivity to initial conditions in a jittering twin-star system where the stars move with your tilt (can you keep them from escaping?), and a real-time BZ-reaction simulation which you control by both tilt and touch, this is chaos as you've never seen it before.
Chaos Lab comes loaded with four of the most stunning attractors in chaos theory. The Rössler and Lorenz attractors are well known, but the Thomas and Newton-Leipnik attractors are relatively new and quite amazing!
This work has been supported in part by grant PHY-0754081 from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Nonlinear Dynamics Research Group at Drexel University (directed by Dr. Robert Gilmore), and the Department of Physics at Drexel University.
Please note, some of these experiments will run slower on the older models of iPhones and iPod touch devices.
Find the beauty in the chaos!
This app is wonderful to play with. We try to get our kids interested in science and this is one of those apps that gets their attention with its beauty and fun, and gets them thinking about how it all works. Other particle apps are fun, but this one feels deeper because we get to play with real mathematical objects. The strange attractors feel almost alive. We hope there will be an iPad version soon!
I have been watching this for hours!
I have taken a non-linear dynamics course before and this app still amazes me. The attractor you see changes with just the slightest tip of your IPod.
Doesn't work on iPhones
I love science and mathematics, so was excited to try this app. But whenever it displays a screen of text the text runs off the screen along with any buttons needed to get past this screen. Tilting the device doesn't work, nor can I pinch zoom out the text to see the buttons. So, I can't get to any of the actions.