CMPLXSYS 470 - Experiments in Nonlinear Dynamics
Section: 001
Term: FA 2010
Subject: Complex Systems (CMPLXSYS)
Department: LSA Complex Systems
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
[PHYSICS 125 or 135 or 140] and [MATH 115 or 185] each with a minimum grade of C.
This course counts toward the 60 credits of math/science required for a Bachelor of Science degree.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

The ideas of nonlinear science are essential to the modern scholar with beneficial applications ranging from economic forecasting, climate modeling and social networking. This course introduces the core concepts of nonlinear dynamics through laboratory experiments on physical systems.

ne of the great fears of climatologists is that the Earth’s climate will reach a tipping point at which a minute change in global temperature will precipitate an abrupt and swift change from the current benign climate to a hostile one. This fear is thoroughly justified based on the science of nonlinear systems. Abrupt transitions in the qualitative state can and do occur. This course will examine this phenomenon through laboratory experiments on a variety of physical systems. Students will begin with a lab introducing the idea of a bifurcation, boundaries in the control parameter space at which the state of the system exhibits a qualitative change. Further labs will cover the transition to chaos, fractals, parametric resonance, synchronization, stability analysis, and pattern formation. For the final project, students will be asked to design, build, and run an experiment. Prerequisites include a course in Newtonian mechanics (such as, PHYSICS 125, 135, or 140) and a course in Calculus (such as MATH 115). Familiarity with differential equations will be helpful but not essential. This course complements a theoretical course such as MATH 404/PHYSICS 413/CMPLXSYS 541.

Crs Requirements: Six lab write-ups and one extended project.

Intended Audience: Juniors and seniors interested in the physics of complex systems.

Class Format: Lectures 2 hours weekly plus lab 2 hours weekly for 3 credits.

CMPLXSYS 470 - Experiments in Nonlinear Dynamics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
M 2:30PM - 6:30PM
002 (LAB)
M 2:30PM - 6:30PM
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