Chaos in Chua’s Circuit
presented by Bryan Walker C'20
Wednesday, April 10, 7:30 - 8:30pm, Woods Labs 216
The central question that humanity has sought to answer with physics is, “How do things move, and why?” Chaos is one answer to this question, applicable to certain sufficiently complicated systems. Specifically, chaos is a behavior exhibited by nonlinear dynamical systems characterized by an inherent long-term unpredictability. Small differences in initial conditions exponentially compound until the transient information about the initial state is entirely lost to the system.
Chaos has several very interesting features that appear to be common amongst otherwise diverse systems that exhibit it. The goal of this experiment is to model and observe several phenomena related to chaos, including period doubling, topological mixing and folding, and strange attractors. To do this, I analyze a nonlinear system called Chua’s circuit, invented in 1983 by Leon O. Chua. It is an electrical circuit that has become a ‘paradigm for chaos’ due to its relative ease of construction and simple state equations. However, the chaotic behavior of Chua’s circuit is anything but simple.
Bryan Walker, C’20, is a physics and math double major at the University of the South from Winchester, TN. He is an active member of the math club and became interested in chaos when reading about nonlinear dynamics and fractal geometry.