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Chaos: The Software

Rudy Rucker, James Gleick, and Autodesk teamed up to produce a program that turns a PC into a chaos lab. One of the great things about Chaos Theory is that the concepts can be deeply explored with a home computer. Chaos is a young science, and the amateur explorer stands a good chance of making new discoveries with inexpensive tools. Chaos: The Software has six sections:

  1. Mandelbrot Sets - Use software tools to spelunk deep into the fluorescent crevices of the Mandlebrot set.
  2. Magnets & Pendulum - An apparently simple arrangements of magnets on a table leads to wildly chaotic motion of a pendulum swinging above.
  3. Strange Attractors - Create a dynamical system that never repeats itself.
  4. The Chaos Game - Strangely beautiful organic shapes appear through the fog.
  5. Fractal Forgeries - Apply a range of fractal dimensions to clouds, mountains and planets, and watch the effects in a short movie.
  6. Toy Universes - Several cellular automata are presented for your tweaking pleasure.

The user can play with color, sound, chaoticity, animation, image saving, etc. The on-line help and beautiful 240-page manual are both excellent. For those tired of just reading about Chaos Theory, this software lets them play with it.

(M. Frauenfelder)



Chaos: The Software
Autodesk, 1990
for DOS systems

Here is the TEXT POPUP for Chaos...

Randomness is a red herring, The object itself does not depend on randomness. The object exists regardless of what I happen to do.
- Michael Barnsley on "The Chaos Game," chapter 6

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