Media Hunt 1: Arnold’s Cat Map

It’s Nilknarf! (who is that weird guy?)  All I know is that he’s really weird.  Anyway, Arnold’s cat map is a really cool chaotic map (somewhat akin to a function, like the logistic map) that occurs by mapping onto a torus on itself, with the help of a transformation matrix in modulo 1 (sorry for the jargon; just think of it as moving pieces of an image).  Arnold (the same kid who was on “Magic Schoolbus”… okay, not really) demonstrated his map by taking a picture of a cat, dividing it into sectors to be rearranged, and letting his transformation loose.  At first, the images appeared to change in random ways, producing ugly, decidedly non-catlike pictures, but after a number of transformations (which vary, depending on the divisions of the picture), the feline was returned to its original state.  Here’s a picture of the map!

Hope today’s installment was wacky and fun!  Join us next week for tips on how to make sure your roommate isn’t a space alien.

(image from wikipedia)

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