Recipes for chaos
There are four possible ways to get chaos:
In case 2 and 3 we speak of deterministic
chaos i.e. chaos in presence of well known and simple laws.
Note that a physical system may present in the same time all four kind
of chaos! Fortunately in the cases 2,3,4 the chaos is not absolute
since we can say a lot of things about the possible outcome of the
experiment. For example in case 2 and 3 the result must lie in
a well known range in phase space where we have the chaotic or strange
attractor. In case 4 we know exactly what is the probability of each
- Ignorance:this is labeled as "external influences". If you don't
know what's happening than the result will be "surprising" and thus chaotic.
- Many simple systems interacting in space:you know well how the single
system behaves but the overall result can be surprising and thus chaotic.
The simplest case is cellular automata. In this case interaction in
space is essential to have chaos .
- One single system developing in time:also here if the law is recursive
than the result (after some time) can be surprising and thus chaotic.
Time in this case is essential to get chaos.
- Use a quantum system like a radioactive material:the law is then
intrinsically chaotic. There is no way to know when exactly a radiactive substance will decay.
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Maintained by Giuseppe Zito:Giuseppe.Zito@cern.ch:
last update 28 Apr 97