An archived instance of discourse for discussion in a Fractal Introductory Colloquium.

In Class Discussion about Paper


Atmospheric: Lorenz Attractor (geometrical), geometric representation of the Lorenz equations (mathematical), water wheel or heating water (physical)
Population: the Logistic function (mathematical) cobweb plot/time series/ bifurcation graph (geometrical), isolated/ small/ focused populations (physical) water wheel/ heating water


  • The scientists involved both moved from mathematics work to scientific study
  • Both scientists used mathematical equations / formulae and figures
  • Both atmospheric dynamics and population dynamics display chaotic behavior and sensitive dependence on initial conditions
  • Both models involve approximations for the purpose of simplification


  • A Cobweb Plot can be periodic, while we don't see this in the Lorenz Attractor
  • Lorenz: 3 Differential Equations / Logistic: 1 Equation (used in iteration)
  • Lorenz: time varies continuously / Logistic: time varies discretely