Continuously running generative software (2013)
Mac Mini computer, large format flat-screen monitor, sound system.
A storage ring is that component of a particle accelerator (such as the 27 km Hadron Collider at CERN) in which sub-atomic pieces of matter are slung round and round inside a hollow steel ring by means of a series of magnets encasing the ring, bringing the particles to a velocity just shy of the speed of light.
Physicists who study the dynamics of particle beams within storage rings have developed a "standard map" -- a simplified set of equations that usefully illustrate the chaotic boundary between stability and instability of the beam as it travels around the ring.
In "The Dynamics of Storage Rings", a computer iterates the equations of the standard map over and over, each
iteration producing adding a point in the two-dimensional "phase space" depicted on the screen. Simultaneously, each point along the orbit is mapped into a musical "instrument space" consisting primarily of percussion sounds. Periodically the software stops its current iteration sequence and starts a new one, allowing the accumulation of points from the old sequence to fade from view.
This two-minute video is a more or less random excerpt from a much longer run. (The software would run forever if it were not shut off at night, never repeating, always different each time it is restarted.) The sound is complex so please listen on a good audio system. The monitor may be mounted horizontally or vertically.
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