Thursday, August 9, 2012

3D Fractal Pendulum (2001)

In university, in one of our calculus classes, we wound up briefly discussing numerical integrators and such.  Meaning to construct a playground to tinker with various integration schemes, I wound up writing an app which has pretty much nothing to do with the original intended purpose... but hey, since that's frequently where the most fun is found, I thought I would write a blurb about it anyway.

It's basically a simple 3D fractal, a kind of perfectly symmetrical, recursive pendulum.  It is effectively a visual representation of a binary tree; every node in the tree is represented by the intersection of two tubular segments.  It's fascinating to note that when tubular segment length is halved at each level of the hierarchy in the below video, none of the segments ever collide; in fact, they don't even come close.

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