Into the Eye(s)
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This submission won first place in the 2019 Images of Research competition. The competition celebrates undergraduate contributions to research at the University of Texas. This submission was selected for the way the image and narrative work together to create a compelling narrative. The following caption accompanied the image submission: This is a subsection of the Chirikov standard map, generated by a program that plotted the journeys of five thousand particles over 60 thousand iterations across 9 hours. It is a very elegant example of chaos theory (consider a double pendulum) where tiny changes in initial position lead to wildly different end results. While this map looks aesthetically pleasing, the standard map is also functional. It is applicable to a number of chaotic systems, such as object dynamics at the size of minute particles, to larger space debris in the solar system. Additionally, the colors of each particle were decided based on the particle's initial conditions; a closer look into the minute details of the picture reveals cohesive and distinct groupings of color. This not only provides an effect reminiscent of Saturn's rings, but also an open question: with a sufficiently powerful computer, is it possible that even more detail is hidden within the noise?