Strange Attractors

J. C. Sprott
Departments of Physics, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53706, USA


Lorenz saw the possibility of more complicated attractors that were neither stable points nor periodic cycles, and his great achievement was to show not only that such attractors exist, but that they can arise from very simple mathematical models. Hence the irregularity and unpredictability of the weather is not necessarily a consequence of the complexity of the governing equations but is an inherent property of the system.

Ref: J. C. Sprott, The Online Journal of the Harvard Extension School Environmental Club 1, 56-61 (2008)

The complete paper is available in PDF format.

Return to Sprott's Books and Publications.

Fig. 1. The Lorenz Fractal
The Lorenz Fractal

Fig. 2. Halvorsen's Cyclically Symmetric Attractor
Halvorsen's Cyclically Symmetric Attractor

Fig. 3. The Sprott Simplest Chaotic Flow
Figure 3

Fig. 4. The Hadley Circulation Fractal
The Hadley Circulation Fractal

Fig. 5. Thomas' Cyclically Symmetric Attractor
Thomas' Cyclically Symmetric Attractor