Chaotic Motion of a Double Pendulum
A double pendulum is a device consisting of a pendulum attached to the end of another pendulum. The motion of a double pendulum can be chaotic. It is easy to make a demonstration, as indicated in a short video clip.
The human leg is a most amazing, powered, double pendulum, with an offset pivot at the hip and an utterly ingenious locking hinge at the knee. Although not usually chaotic, its dynamic behaviour is a very important part of its effective use in walking or running.
You can play the video by clicking on the image above.
© Jim McGovern 2006