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The students investigate the dynamics of an inverted pendulum with a torsional restoring force. Because the equation of motion can be approximated by a nonlinear equation known as the Duffing equation, this sort of pendulum is known as a Duffing oscillator. Although the system is very simple (a flexible steel ruler with a little weight on top--sort of like a metronome) the motion has regimes where the behavior is neither regular, nor predictable: knowing the position and velocity at some point in time is of no use in predicting the posiiton and velocity at some later time.

Course Level

Intermediate: P49

Student Handouts


Number of set-ups available: 1

Per lab station:

1 HP3325A synthesizer/function generator
2 oscilloscope
1 oscillator control box
1 plotter/paper and pens
1 Macscope interface box/power supply and signal cable
1 MacScope User's Manual
1 Macintosh/dust cover and mouse pad on a rolling cart
1 oscillator appratus/plexiglass box
1 styrofoam cylindrical container for dry/alcohol mixture
1 styrofoam container to hold extra dry ice
8 BNC cables
4 BNC - T-connectors
2 BNC to banana (male) adaptors
1 pumb bob

Chaos apparatus


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