For Teague

Sadly and unexpectedly Wooster physics senior Teague Curless ’22 died yesterday. I was fortunate to teach Teague some physics, especially in my Nonlinear Dynamics class last spring. Teague’s semester project beautifully illustrated chaos in a double pendulum — a pendulum swinging from another pendulum, like The Swinging Sticks® kinetic sculpture that silently rotates and librates beside me as I write.

Using Mathematica, Teague numerically integrated the relevant Lagrange equations to simulate the motion of the double pendulum. He then created a two-dimensional initial angles plot of the time for the pendulum to flip as a function of the sub-pendulums’ starting angles, a beautiful high-resolution fractal-like image. I think Teague would have enjoyed the extension below, where I animate the color palette.

Rotating hues code time for a double pendulum to flip for different initial angles; central angles are too small to cause flips. Based on Teague Curless's final Nonlinear Dynamics project.

Rotating hues code time for a double pendulum to flip for different initial angles; central angles are too small to cause flips. Based on Teague Curless’s final Nonlinear Dynamics project.

About John F. Lindner

John F. Lindner was born in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and educated at the University of Vermont and Caltech. He is an emeritus professor of physics and astronomy at The College of Wooster and a visiting professor at North Carolina State University. He has enjoyed multiple yearlong sabbaticals at Georgia Tech, University of Portland, University of Hawai'i, and NCSU. His research interests include nonlinear dynamics, celestial mechanics, and neural networks.
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1 Response to For Teague

  1. Cody Leary says:

    Thank you for this John. A beautiful visualization. Teague is and will be dearly missed.

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