Place: 4274 Chamberlin (Refreshments will be served)
Speaker: Clint Sprott, UW Department of Physics
Abstract: The harmonic oscillator is the simplest and most common nontrivial dynamical system. The prototypical mechanical example is a mass suspended by a spring, but the same dynamics occur in most musical instruments, many electronic devices, models of economic and ecological systems, some chemical reactions, and many other real-world systems. However, most oscillations in nature are not simple but rather exhibit aperiodic fluctuations such as the weather and the stock market. I will describe a new model of a chaotic oscillator whose behavior is identical to a harmonic oscillator in equilibrium with a source of heat at a constant temperature. It represents the culmination of a 30-year search for an elegant chaotic model whose solution is ergodic and whose variables accurately exhibit a normal (Gaussian) distribution as expected for a truly random process.