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A short video created about an iconic exhibit at the Exploratorium, Ned Kahn's Chaotic Pendulum. An apparently simple set of pendulums is given an initial twist. Intuition says that the resulting motion of this simple system should be, if not simple, at least predictable. Intuition doesn't work with this device though, and its motion is an extremely complicated, and somewhat whimsical, twisting and turning that defies the predictive powers of physics.

Exploratorium staff member Earl Stirling demonstrates the amazing "Pyrograph", an artwork refined over four years. Like a fiery version of the museum’s classic Drawing Board, Stirling’s "Pyrograph" swings a pendulum over a sandy cauldron, tracing out oscillating patterns in colorful fire. This mesmerizing piece evokes both the Foucault pendulum and Dante’s Inferno.

Catch a glimpse of the floor as viewed from atop the concrete pendulum on the Exploratorium's Mezzanine.

Slow motion footage of Pyrograph, a work by Earl "Dodger" Stirling that has been described as a cross between Dante's Inferno and the Foucault Pendulum. Like a fiery version of the Exploratorium's classic Drawing Board exhibit, Pyrograph swings a pendulum across a sandy, flaming cauldron and traces out oscillating patterns in colorful fire.

The Chaotic Pendulum exhibit contains a deceptively simple set of pendulums in a steel and Plexiglas case. The visitor twists a protruding knob, expecting the resulting motion to be fairly predictable. But the device's motion is chaotic, extremely complicated and long-lived.

Do you know what a 'Spryte' is? Watch this webcast to learn more and see footage from the Penguin Ranch in Antarctica!