Science Frontiers
The Unusual & Unexplained

Strange Science * Bizarre Biophysics * Anomalous astronomy
From the pages of the World's Scientific Journals

Archaeology Astronomy Biology Geology Geophysics Mathematics Psychology Physics

About Science Frontiers

Science Frontiers is the bimonthly newsletter providing digests of reports that describe scientific anomalies; that is, those observations and facts that challenge prevailing scientific paradigms. Over 2000 Science Frontiers digests have been published since 1976.

These 2,000+ digests represent only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The Sourcebook Project, which publishes Science Frontiers, also publishes the Catalog of Anomalies, which delves far more deeply into anomalistics and now extends to sixteen volumes, and covers dozens of disciplines.

Over 14,000 volumes of science journals, including all issues of Nature and Science have been examined for reports on anomalies. In this context, the newsletter Science Frontiers is the appetizer and the Catalog of Anomalies is the main course.


Subscriptions to the Science Frontiers newsletter are no longer available.

Compilations of back issues can be found in Science Frontiers: The Book, and original and more detailed reports in the The Sourcebook Project series of books.

The publisher

Please note that the publisher has now closed, and can not be contacted.


Yell 1997 UK Web Award Nominee INTERCATCH Professional Web Site Award for Excellence, Aug 1998
Designed and hosted by
Knowledge Computing
Other links


Search results for: chaos

17 results found.
Sorted by relevance / Sort by date
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 92: Mar-Apr 1994 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Chaos At The Amusement Park Readers of Science Frontiers are well aware that some denizens of our solar system exhibit chaotic motion, as do some pendulums and even dripping faucets. Chaosists seem to be able to find chaos everywhere they look. If you have ever ridden on that amusement park staple called the Tilt-A -Whirl, you will recall that the ride is fun because you never know exactly what the car you are riding in will do as the platforms move along the hilly circular track. Each car is free to rotate about its center and will also tilt in all possible directions as the cars go up and down the hills. Can one mathematically predict whether the car will spin clockwise, counterclockwise, or not at all? What a neat problem for a physicist! And two physicists, R.L . Kautz and B.M . Huggard, have developed a mathematical model of the Tilt-A -Whirl. By integrating the equation of motion, they find that the Tilt-A -Whirl is, indeed, a chaotic system. You really cannot tell what the car is going to do -- even if you take your laptop along with you! (Kautz, R.L ., and Huggard, Bret M.; "Chaos at the Amusement Park: Dynamics of the Tilt-A -Whirl," American Journal of Physics, 62:59, 1994.) From Science Frontiers # ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 104  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf092/sf092c15.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 61: Jan-Feb 1989 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Chaos Below "In a dive on the submersible Alvin just west of the Mariana trench, scientists discovered a cache of unusual features, including chimneys spewing out mineral-laden cold water on top of submerged mountains that rise 2,500 meters from the seafloor. While volcanic eruptions form most sea-mounts, these mountains consist of a nonvolcanic rock called serpentinite, and oceanographers are not entirely sure how the serpentinite mountains formed." The theory of plate tectonics has the Pacific plate diving under the Philippine plate along the Mariana trench. It may be that water trapped in the downgoing crust leaks out, rises, and serpentinizes the crust above. This altered rock, being lighter than that surrounding it, may slowly rise through it, eventually forming undersea mountains. (Monastersky, Richard; "Novel Mountains and Chimneys in the Sea," Science News, 134:333, 1988.) Comment. This all sounds pretty speculative, but those mountains had to come from somewhere. Perhaps the serpentinite mountains are just one manifestation of a larger phenomenon: the chaotic slithering and popping up and down of crustal material. The following is from New Scientist: "Geophysicists in California and Illinois say that they have found the Earth's "missing" crust by analyzing shock waves from earthquakes to determine the chemical composition of the Earth's interior. If the researchers are correct, then the view of the interior of the Earth that scientists ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 57  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf061/sf061g11.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 62: Mar-Apr 1989 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Measles epidemics: noisy or chaotic?The incidence of measles in New York City, 1928-1964. Noise or chaos? We should talk about chaos more. This subject threatens to undermine the popular notion that nature is fully deter ministic. We like to think that if we are given enough data that scientific laws will allow us to predict the future ac curately. But, unhappily, determinism stumbles when trying to cope with the weather, asteroid motion, the heart's electrical activity, and an increasing number of natural systems. Chaos lurks everywhere! The growing split in scientific outlook is seen very clearly in the statistics of New York City measles epidemics before mass vaccinations. Take a look at the graph of recorded cases. The expected peaks occur each winter, but there is a strong tendency toward alternate mild and severe years. Very nice mathematical models exist that purport to predict the progress of epidemics. They take into account such factors as the human contact rate, disease latency period, the existing immune population, etc. It is all very methodical, but it fails to account for the irregularities in actual data. Deterministic scientists claim that just by adding a little "noise" they could duplicate the observed curve. On the other hand, a very simple model that acknowledges the reality of chaos easily duplicates the measured data. Who is right? The determinists and chaosists (chaosians?) are now fighting it out ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 57  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf062/sf062b06.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 67: Jan-Feb 1990 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Direct observations of hyperion's chaotic motion Hyperion is a 150-kilometer-diameter satellite of Saturn. Hyperion's irregular shape and the gravitational pull of Titan, a larger satellite of Saturn, make it a prime candidate for chaotic motion. After accumulating 53 Hyperion-days of observation, J. Klavetter has confirmed this theoretical suspicion. Hyperion's brightness varies wildly from day to day, as it spins unpredictably. The laws of motion and the largest computers are helpless here; although computer simulation can identify situations where chaos might develop. More alarmingly, some "subtle" chaos also appears in computer simulations of Pluto's motion and "perhaps other planets." (Kerr, Richard A.; "First Direct View of Solar System Chaos," Science, 246: 998, 1989.) Comment. Contemplate what might happen -- or might have happened already -- if any of the other planets moved chaotically. From Science Frontiers #67, JAN-FEB 1990 . 1990-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 42  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf067/sf067a05.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 71: Sep-Oct 1990 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects ASTRONOMERS COPE WITH BOTH CHAOS AND TOO MUCH ORDER IN THE UNIVERSE The solar system . The recent advent and fast rise in popularity of chaos theory is destroying some favorite, long-sworn-to notions of astronomers. One in particular is solar-system stability. Could any of the planets pop out of their orbits and embark upon wild and unpredictable trajectories? "We can't rule it out," stated J. Wisdom, an MIT planetary scientist. (Freedman, David H.; "Gravity's Revenge," Discover, 11:54, May 1990.) Comment. Well, OK, there is a tiny theoretical chance that such an event might occur in the future, but it certainly never happened in the past. To admit such a possibility would open that Pandora's Box of vigorously suppressed catastrophic scenarios. Reference. More information on solarsystem instability may be found in ABB1 in the catalog: The Sun and Solar System Debris. Ordering details here . The universe as-a -whole . The disovery of the Great Wall of galaxies (SF#67) and the regular clumping of galactic matter (SF#69) has greatly surprised astronomers, who have been emphasizing how uniformly distributed galactic matter should -- according to theory, at least. Now, D.C . Koo, at the University of California at Santa Cruz, says, "The regularity is just mind- ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 27  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf071/sf071a07.htm
... pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Too Much Order In The Early Cosmos Astronomers are becoming accustomed to the idea that many nearby galaxies are concentrated in spherical shells separated from one another by about 400 million light years. This onion-skin geometry is inferred from the fact that galactic red shifts cluster around specific values; that is, they are quantized. Since red shifts are held to be proportional to distance in the expanding universe paradigm: Voila! We have shells! This evidence of nearby cosmic order does not seriously disturb cosmologists, because in the nearby galaxies we are seeing that portion of the universe that is billions of years old. In other words, nearby there has been enough time for some degree of order to have evolved out of the primordial chaos of the Big Bang. Now though, "deep" surveys of galaxies, looking much farther back in time, still show clustered red shifts -- not the expected increasing chaos required by theory. Although the surveys are incomplete, astronomers are discomfited by this early lumpiness. Their theories say that there was not enough time for galaxies to organize themselves into sheets, shells, and skeins. If further "deep" probings of the cosmos confirm this redshift clustering, we may need a new evolutionary scenario. Good bye Big Bang and expanding universe! (Vogel, Gretchen; "Goodness, Gracious, Great Walls Afar," Science, 274:343, 1996. Vergano, D.; "New Evidence of Cosmic Architecture," Science News, 150:239, 1996) ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 27  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf109/sf109p06.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 47: Sep-Oct 1986 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Unpredictable Things Simple spherical pendulums are fixtures of physics labs, to say nothing of grandfather clocks. It is now widely recognized that pendulums can behave chaotically; that is, unpredictably. As the pendulum bob swings farther away from its rest position, the restoring force becomes nonlinear; i.e ., not proportional to the displacement. At some combination of displacement and driving frequency, a region of chaos may develop, in which theory is powerless to tell what is going to happen next. "It is not just the behavior of pendulums that has sprung this surprise. Systems as diverse as simple electrical circuits, dynamos, lasers, chemical reactions and heart cells behave in an analogous way and the implications extend far beyond these examples -- to matters such as weather forecasting, populations of biological species, physiological and psychiatric medicine, economic forecasting and perhaps the evolution of society." (Tritton, David; "Chaos in the Swing of a Pendulum," New Scientist, p. 37, July 24, 1986.) Comment. Some of the anomalies we record may be the consequence of simple systems gone wild. Chaotic motions of some asteroids and at least one solar system moon are already suspected. Imagine what might happen in much more complex systems, such as biological evolution (hopeful monsters?), brain development (idiot savants?), etc. From Science Frontiers #47, SEP-OCT 1986 . 1986 ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 26  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf047/sf047p20.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Drip, drop, drup, dr**A dripping faucet is usually conceived as a well-ordered dependable phenomenon. You simple turn the faucet a bit counterclockwise and the drip rate increases. It's so simple. Surprise! Dripping faucets are chaotic systems, as described in the following Abstract: "The dripping water faucet is a simple system which is shown in this article to be rich in examples of chaotic behavior. Data were taken for a wide range of drip rates for two different faucet nozzles and plotted as discrete time maps. Different routes to chaos, bifurcation and intermittency, are demonstrated for the different nozzles. Examples of period-1 , - 2, -3 , and -4 attractors, as well as strange attractors, are presented and correlated to the formation of drops leaving the faucet." (Dreyer, K., and Hickey, F.R .; "The Route to Chaos in a Dripping Water Faucet," American Journal of Physics, 59:619, 1991.) Comment. O.K ., so faucets dribble a bit. From Science Frontiers #77, SEP-OCT 1991 . 1991-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 24  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf077/sf077p18.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 61: Jan-Feb 1989 Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues Last Issue Next Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Contents Archaeology Interproximal grooving of teeth A MAMMOTH FRAUD IN SCIENCE Astronomy Celestial burlesque? Biology Gaia at work under the hudson Celestial crucible Celestial influences Egg mimicry in cuckoos Synchronous rhythmic flashing of fireflies Are you saturated with discussions about the "infinite dilution" Geology Terrestrial maria? Chaos below Geophysics Expanding ball of light (ebl) phenomenon Unusual gust of wind Sodium surges over illinois Psychology Remote, extrasensory description of mineral samples General Spooky stats in maryland A TRULY FORTEAN HOUSE ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 15  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf061/index.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 92: Mar-Apr 1994 Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues Last Issue Next Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Contents Archaeology Did humans evolve in siberia? Tractors of the gods? Astronomy Jovian lightning or cosmic short circuit? Target earth Biology Flies fly into frogmouth's mouth Is immortality only a mutation away? The world before our world Geology Back to siberia: the biggest flood? Diamonds are an anomalist's best friend Unidentified light Geophysics Crop circles not hoaxes: a correction Expanding luminescent rings Chilean astronomer reports unidentified atmospheric phenomena Chemistry and Physics High temperature suppresses radioactive decay Chaos at the amusement park ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 15  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf092/index.htm
... real world? Are math and natural science really separate, unlinked disciplines? Pythagoras, 2,500 years ago, decided that: "All is number." He may be right. A strange connection seems to exist between prime numbers and quantum physics. On one side of the chasm that supposedly separates math from physics, we have the prime numbers and the Riemann zeta function, which provides information on how prime numbers are distributed among the other integers. On the "physics" side of the chasm, we have the behavior of complex atomic systems. The chasm seems bridged when one compares the energy levels of an excited heavy nucleus with the distribution of the zeros of the zeta function. Why should this correspondence exist? B. Cipra exclaimed: "Just why number theory and quantum chaos should be soul mates is a mystery for the gods to unveil." (Cipra, Barry; "Prime Formula Weds Number Theory and Quantum Physics," Science, 274:2104, 1996.) Comment. God, well known to be a geometer, evidently also dabbled in prime numbers! From Science Frontiers #111, MAY-JUN 1997 . 1997-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 14  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf111/sf111p00.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 90: Nov-Dec 1993 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Is nothing certain anymore?It was discouraging enough to learn that many natural systems, from simple pendulums to our weather, are basically chaotic; that is, tiny changes in the initial conditions upon which predictions are based can lead to highly unpredictable outcomes. Chaotic systems are usually qualitatively predictable but not quantitatively predictable. We have no choice but to live with this chaos; it seems that that's the way the cosmos is constructed! However, it now seems that the situation is even worse than chaotic! Some systems, perhaps most systems, are also indeterminate, meaning that we cannot predict their qualitative behavior either. A simple example is the water swirling down the bathtub drain. This is not only chaotic but it has two qualitative final states: clockwise and counterclockwise. Regardless of which hemisphere you are in, you can change the direction of swirl with negligible effort. Each of the two final states of motion is still quanti tatively unpredictable. Systems that are more complex will possess many different final states, all chaotic. Can nature really be fundamentally chaotic as well as qualitatively uncertain? J.C . Sommerer and E. Ott have mathematically examined a relatively simple system consisting of a single particle moving in a force field, experiencing friction, and being periodically jolted. Besides settling into chaotic motion, this particle may also be forced away to infinity -- two radically different final states. The analysis revealed that for any ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 14  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf090/sf090g13.htm
... Science Frontiers ONLINE No. 120: Nov-Dec 1998 Issue Contents Other pages Home Page Science Frontiers Online All Issues This Issue Sourcebook Project Sourcebook Subjects Bye-bye Mercury, and Maybe Mars During the 1950s, the campaign of mainstream science to discredit Velikovsky assured the public that the solar system was the epitome of stability -- wayward planets were impossible. Then along came chaos theory which implied that the flight of a butterfly in Brazil could, in principle, affect weather in Canada. In effect, a slight change in initial conditions could, in the fullness of time, have very large effects. Now, it is generally admitted that the solar system is chaotic after all. Each planet is subject to the tiny, butterfly-like gravitational tugs of the other planets, especially Jupiter. Given enough time, these gravitational nuances can result in the ejection of a planet from the solar system -- and may already have done so in the past! Mercury and Mars are the most vulnerable on a billion-year time scale. In the case of Mercury, its orbit will become more and more elliptical according to computer simulations. Eventually a close gravitational encounter with Venus is possible. This could send Mercury careening off into deep space. The probability of this happening is only 1 in a 1000 over 5 billion years, but it is not zero. Mars might likewise be ejected by a passing nudge from earth. However, this encounter could go the other way. Depending upon the celestial dynamics of the encounter, Mars might gravitationally fling earth out into the Galaxy, and ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 14  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf120/sf120p03.htm
... the geomagnetic field. They have created volcanoes and massive basalt flows. They have caused mass extinctions. Of course, for two centuries, other catastrophists have proposed similar dire consequences of giant impacts. But Shaw does introduce three ideas that are worth recording here. Large impact craters occur in swaths. Although this has been suggested before, Shaw has mapped out several swaths where large craters of about the same age are located. His "K -T swath" includes the Chicxulub crater (Yucatan), the Manson crater (Iowa), the Avak crater (Alaska), and three more in Russia -- all of which were gouged out about the time of the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K -T ) boundary. Shaw has plotted several other swaths of different ages. The application of chaos theory to solar system debris. Shaw hypothesizes that nonlinear gravitational effects channel asteroids and comets into the inner solar system in intermittent bursts. The bursts are then captured by the earth and other inner planets, with some of these objects grouped in like orbits. Gravitational feedback occurs from earth to orbiting debris. Shaw believes that the uneven distribution of mass inside the earth -- due probably to the impact that created the moon -- influences where asteroids and comets impact. In turn, these large objects keep smashing into the same regions and their cumulative effect contols the flow of material inside the earth. Then, this change in mass distribution feeds back to change orbits and impact swaths. The above is just a taste of what is revealed in Shaw's book of 600+ pages. ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 13  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf098/sf098g11.htm
... science be tarnished. I began this Preface by warning against expecting anything profound to emerge from the simple process of collecting anomalies and curiosities. Data collection is, after all, only one part of the scientific process. I have avoided as far as possible the "fun" part of science: theorization. My purpose has been to keep the data base as valuefree as possible. It is this value-free aspect of the Catalog of Anomalies plus the eclectic nature of my search that makes my endeavor not only entertaining but liberating. I will now explain what I mean by "liberating," and why this feature of anomalistics might be scientifically useful. Unless you have been comatose the past several years, you must know that the entire outlook of science is in flux. The words "chaos" and "complexity" are the current buzz words. They betoken, finally, the formal recognition by science that nature is frequently: Unpredictable (as in weather forecasting beyond a few days) Complex (as in any life form) Nonlinear (as in just about all real natural phenomena) Discontinuous (as in saltations in the fossil record) Out-of-equilibrium (as in real economics) Eroding fast are the philosophical foundation stones of the clockwork universe: the idea that nature is in balance, that geological processes are uniformitarian, that life evolved in small, random steps, and that the cosmos is deterministic. My view is that anomaly research, while not science per se, has the potential to destabilize paradigms and accelerate scientific change. Anomalies reveal nature as it really ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 13  -  10 Oct 2021  -  URL: /thebook.htm
... predictions regarding Old Faithful's eruptive behavior are impossible, no matter how carefully and accurately the system is modeled. The mean eruptive interval of Old Faithful has changed over time. This is consistent with the behavior of a chaotic system, which by definition must be nonstationary in the mean. Seismic activity is believed to be a perturbation shifting Old Faithful into a new chaotic state with a different shape to the strange attractor. A simple non-linear dynamic model of geyser behavior is proposed that leads to chaotic behavior and is consistent with the observations of eruption interval data for Old Faithful." (Nicholl, Michael, et al; "Is Old Faithful a Strange Attractor?" Eos, 71:466, 1990.) Comment. "Strange attractor" is a specialized term employed in chaos analysis. So, Old Faithful is not really faithful; neither are the planets in their orbits (see under Astronomy). Is there nothing left in Nature that is reliable -- just about everything is non-linear and therefore a candidate for chaotic behavior. Reference. An entire setion on geyser phenomena may be found in GHG in our catalog: Earthquakes, Tides. To order, visit: here . From Science Frontiers #71, SEP-OCT 1990 . 1990-2000 William R. Corliss ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 13  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /sf071/sf071g16.htm
... GQH3 Supposed Appearance of Hairs after Earthquakes GQH4 Gaseous Emissions prior to and during Earthquakes GQH5 Traveling Strain Events GQH6 Effect of Earthquakes on Geyser Periods [GHG] Well-Level Changes before Earthquakes Slow, Silent Earthquakes GQM ELECTRICAL AND MAGNETIC PHENOMENA OF EARTHQUAKES GQM1 Earthquake Magnetic Effects GQM2 Earth Currents Observed during Earthquakes GQM3 Radio Emissions Associated with Earthquakes GQM4 Electrostatic Effects Correlated with Earthquakes GQS EARTHQUAKE PERIODICITIES GQS1 Earthquakes Correlated with Solar Activity GQS2 Earthquakes Correlated with the Moon's Position GQS3 Appearance of Meteors during Earthquakes GQS4 Annual Variation of Earthquake Frequency GQS5 Diurnal Variation of Earthquake Frequency GQS6 A 42-Minute Period in Quakes GQS7 Earthquake Activity Correlated with Planetary Positions GQS8 Seismic Activity Correlated with Pulsar Radiation GQS9 Earthquakes Correlated with other Periodic Phenomena GQS10 Earthquakes Correlated with Polar Wobble Earthquakes Correlated with Earth's Speed of Rotation Earthquake Cycles Chaos in Earthquake Data Nocturnal Earthquakes GQV UNUSUAL VIBRATIONS GQV1 Unidentified Vibrations GQV2 Vibrations Induced by Falling Water GQV3 Vibrations of Polar Ice Exotic Seismic Signals Periodic Vibrations Recorded by Gravitational-Wave Detectors GQW EARTHQUAKE WEATHER GQW1 Earthquake Weather GQW2 Earthquakes Associated with Sudden Storms GQW3 Rainfall Correlated with Earthquake Frequency GQW4 Wind Gusts and Earthquakes GQW5 Fogs Associated with Quakes GS UNUSUAL SOUNDS IN NATURE GSD EXTRAORDINARY DETONATIONS GSD1 Explosive Sounds Heard near Bodies of Water (Waterguns) GSD2 Detonations Heard in Seismically Active Areas Thunder in Clear Weather Close-by Aerial Detonations Unexplained Underground Detonations [GSU] GSE ANOMALOUS ECHOS GSE1 Aerial Echos GSE2 Musical Echos (Analyzed Sound) GSH ANOMALOUS HISSING AND RUSHING SOUNDS GSH1 Hissing Sounds Preceding Earthquakes GSH2 Hissing Sounds Correlated with High-Altitude Meteors GSH3 Swishing and Crackling Sounds Associated with the Aurora GSH4 Overhead Rushing Sounds of ...
Terms matched: 1  -  Score: 5  -  15 May 2017  -  URL: /cat-geop.htm

Search powered by Zoom Search Engine