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Physics  2001 

Strange Nonchaotic Attractors

DOI: 10.1142/S0218127401002195

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Aperiodic dynamics which is nonchaotic is realized on Strange Nonchaotic attractors (SNAs). Such attractors are generic in quasiperiodically driven nonlinear systems, and like strange attractors, are geometrically fractal. The largest Lyapunov exponent is zero or negative: trajectories do not show exponential sensitivity to initial conditions. In recent years, SNAs have been seen in a number of diverse experimental situations ranging from quasiperiodically driven mechanical or electronic systems to plasma discharges. An important connection is the equivalence between a quasiperiodically driven system and the Schr\"odinger equation for a particle in a related quasiperiodic potential, giving a correspondence between the localized states of the quantum problem with SNAs in the related dynamical system. In this review we discuss the main conceptual issues in the study of SNAs, including the different bifurcations or routes for the creation of such attractors, the methods of characterization, and the nature of dynamical transitions in quasiperiodically forced systems. The variation of the Lyapunov exponent, and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of its local fluctuation properties, has emerged as an important means of studying fractal attractors, and this analysis finds useful application here. The ubiquity of such attractors, in conjunction with their several unusual properties, suggest novel applications.


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