Act_14 - 2/18/05 Name: _ Section: _ Activity Sheet 14:...

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2/18/05 1 Name: ___________________________________ Section: ______________ Activity Sheet 14: Sensitive Systems and Computer Modeling 14.1 Sensitivity of Systems to Initial Conditions 1) Predictable and unpredictable systems Your instructor will demonstrate a simple pendulum, starting its motion several times. a) Is it possible to predict the motion of this pendulum each time? ___________ b) What set of laws govern the motion of the pendulum? c) Your instructor will demonstrate a modified pendulum that includes a spring. Does this pendulum also follow Newton’s Laws? ________ Can you predict the motion of this pendulum? ________ d) When the second pendulum is repeatedly set in motion with as close to identical conditions as possible, does this pendulum behave the same each time? _____ How does the spring change the character of the pendulum? 2) Deterministic systems As we have seen, both predictable and unpredictable systems follow Newton’s Laws. a) What is the term for a system for which we know the laws governing the system’s behavior? _______________________________________ b) What is the relationship between successive events in a deterministic system? c) Are there any systems in nature that are not deterministic? 3) Sensitive and non-sensitive systems and initial conditions Next, we examine the difference between predictable and unpredictable systems. a) Place the ice cream cone upside down. Tilt the cone slightly to the right side and release it. What happens? b) Is the behavior of the cone predictable? _______________
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2/18/05 2 c) Change the initial conditions by tilting the cone to the left or toward you or away from you and then release the cone. Is the final position of the cone the same in each case? d)
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Act_14 - 2/18/05 Name: _ Section: _ Activity Sheet 14:...

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