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Chaos and Variable Stars:  Good News and Bad

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Charles A Whitney

Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

 

Received 7 April 1989

 

Abstract

 

A computer program is used to illustrate several qualitative features of chaotic behavior in a non-linear third-order system: a) The properties of the system depend strongly on the values assigned to the adjustable parameters; b) In the chaotic domain, the trajectory of the system is very sensitive to the starting point, which is the bad news, as it means long-range prediction is impossible; c) Simple systems can display very complex behavior, which is the good news, as it implies that irregular variables may be explainable by simple physics.

 

Link to ADS abstract, article and citation information

 
 
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