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Title: Mechanical apparatus for the fold catastrophe demonstration
Authors: Fiolhais, M. 
Golli, B. 
Nogueira, R. N. 
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: IOP Sceince
Serial title, monograph or event: European Journal of Physics : a journal of the European Physical Society
Volume: 42
Issue: 4
Abstract: We present and discuss a non-expensive mechanical experiment which is very suitable for a classroom demonstration of the fold catastrophe behaviour. The apparatus consists of a bar attached to a pulley, to which a hanging body is connected by means of a thread wrapped around its rim. The system may perform stable oscillations or, else, the body may continuously fall down, while the pulley executes a sequence of 360° rotations. This behaviour is analysed in connection with the shape of the potential, which is a good example of a fold catastrophe potential. For the system to perform stable oscillations, that shape reminds a clothes washboard, with local maxima and minima, a potential well known in superconducting quantum computing. We provide some hints for the instructor to explore the device in lab classes.
ISSN: 0143-0807
DOI: 10.1088/1361-6404/abf059
Rights: openAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CFis - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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