The mathematics journal Mathematical Intelligencer has published some intriguing instructions on how to crochet your very own model of chaos. Hinke Osinga and Bernd Krauskopf – both of Bristol University’s Department of Engineering Mathematics – have turned the Lorenz equations that describe the nature of chaotic systems into a real-life object, by crocheting computer-generated instructions.
“Imagine a leaf floating in a turbulent river and consider how it passes either to the left or to the right around a rock somewhere downstream. Those special leaves that end up clinging to the rock must have followed a very unique path in the water. Each stitch in the crochet pattern represents a single point [a leaf] that ends up at the rock,” said Osinga (left of picture).
The final result took Osinga about 85 hours to complete and contains 25,511 crochet stitches.
Crochet your own Lorenz manifold at www.enm.bris.ac.uk/anm/preprints/2004r03.html
Pic courtesy University of Bristol