Ed Lorenz and his equations—some slides for a talk

This slide show has been modified since I first showed it:

After giving our lunchtime talk in March, I learned that Professor Lorenz's 90th birthday is coming up on May 23, so I changed the first slide of the show to honor him.

Also during my talk, Bob Kraft asked a key question, which has led me to re-think the thrust of what I said, and to add a slide at the end that may explain why the Earth's atmosphere does not behave in the manner implied in my talk.

Here are some hints for viewing the slide show:

  1. The show works best on the Mozilla Firefox browser, so if you're using something different to view this page (e.g., Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera), switch to Firefox. It's free, and available here.
  2. When you've got this page up in Firefox, exit any other tabs but this one, and hide any visible toolbars. [To hide your toolbars, click on the "View" menu and make sure the first three menu items (Toolbars, Status Bar, Sidebar) are unchecked.]
  3. Next, push the “F11” key to switch to the full screen mode. (If you want to exit from the full screen mode, just push the “F11” key again.)
  4. Click here to see the slides. You may need to reload the page to ensure proper formatting. (Clicking the right mouse button in the window will bring up a reload option.)
  5. To go from one slide to the next, either push the spacebar, or left click the mouse, or hit the “Page Down” key, or the “↓” or the “→” keys. For some slides, these actions will not take you to the next slide, but instead highlight the next text block. To go to the previous slide, hit the “Page Up” key, or either the “↑” or the “←” key.
  6. If you move the mouse to the lower right of any slide, you will find links marked with « and » that will take you to the previous or next slide, respectively. There is also a menu there that enables you to go directly to any particular slide.

Comments about this browser-based slide show:

This slide show is an experiment. I have never before given a computer-based talk, and not owning or liking PowerPoint (I'm a linux person), I looked for other ways. This show is made using Eric Meyer's “S5” (a Simple Standards-based Slide Show System). More information about S5 is available here. I learned about it from Akkana Peck, who is a great resource. I was delighted to discover (by looking at her website) that she is a UCSC alumna with a degree in mathematics. She describes a number of alternatives to PowerPoint on her Linux Presentations page.

Additional stuff to play with:

Material related to this slide show is available here, where you will find (a) a pair of files that may be used to display a 3-dimensional rotatable plot of the Lorenz attractor (“XYZplot.gplt”, and “XYZdata”), along with instructions (“README.gnuplot”) for how to display the plot using gnuplot, and (b) the source code for a nice program that creates a Lorenz attractor in an xterm window, and (c) additional source code that may be used to create a MIDI file similar to that in the slide show.

There is also a copy of an email from Professor Lorenz that provides information about the creation of the “Lorenz waterwheel”.

– Peter Scott