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HomeMatlabChaotic Swinging Sticks » Cleve’s Nook: Cleve Moler on Arithmetic and Computing

Chaotic Swinging Sticks » Cleve’s Nook: Cleve Moler on Arithmetic and Computing

The Swinging Sticks is a kinetic sculpture that reveals chaotic movement. The gadget grew to become highly regarded after it upstaged Tony Stark in Iron Man 2. My daughter Carolyn gave me a desktop model of Swinging Sticks for Christmas. I instantly got down to simulate it.


Chaotic Movement

Chaotic movement seems random however is not. As soon as the movement begins, the preliminary circumstances along with Newton’s regulation of movement, F = ma, decide subsequent conduct. There are not any random forces. It might be tough to foretell positions, however they’re well-determined, nonetheless.

A traditional instance of chaotic movement is the double pendulum. One mass at finish of a massless string swings a few mounted pivot, and a second mass is connected by a massless string to the primary. My simulator of the classis double pendulum is offered in Cleve’s Lab, swinger, and a film is offered right here pendulum film.

Swinging Sticks

The swinging sticks are just like the double pendulum. The sticks are two rods with uniformly distributed mass, completely different lengths and off-center pivots. One of the best ways to view the movement is to obtain this code and run it in your personal MATLAB. In any other case, right here in a brief slow-motion animated GIF.

And, here’s a longer Swinging Sticks Video.

The movement of the shorter of the 2 rods is chaotic. Listed here are the orbits traced by the ends of the quick rod.


Swinging Sticks sculptures can be found in varied sizes and colours. The Swinging Sticks.

Our mathematical mannequin is of a frictionless perpetual movement machine. The actual sculptures have an ingenious electromagnetic controller within the base that’s claimed to run for 2 years on 4 AA batteries. Mine has been working since Christmas. A wonderful YouTube video by Wayne Schmidt describes the controller.


Printed with MATLAB® R2024a



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