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Animated Double Pendulum

version 1.1 (114 KB) by

Show animation of the double pendulum's (mostly) chaotic behavior.

9 Ratings



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Editor's Note: This file was selected as MATLAB Central Pick of the Week

For animation, the program uses Matlab's normal plot command combined with the drawnow command. It is based on the ode45 solution of the corresponding differential equations.

Comprehensive documentation is provided, including a sketch of the most important steps of how to derive the equations of motion. A simple Mathematica notebook contains all of the manipulations.

Start the program via >> double_pendulum_init

You can adapt parameters such as rod lengths, masses and initial angular positions and velocities in the double_pendulum_init.m file.

It might be interesting to implement some features in future versions, such as angular time dependence plots, phase space portraits or Poincaré sections.

Have fun observing the rich dynamic behaviour of this simple, but mostly chaotic system :-)

Comments and Ratings (10)

Hugo Osorio

Very nice illustration. I am curious however to why the pendulum starts to move when initializing it at it's upward equilibrium
(phi1 = pi;dtphi1 = 0;phi2 = pi;dtphi2 = 0;)
Is this due to approximation mistakes by matlab where the number pi is represented with a finite number of decimals?

amazing, this program could be a base reference for further works.


Jacek (view profile)

Results are very inconsistent with other projects and online simulators, but they seem to use iterative calculations and not ivp deq's. Also equations in m-file are inconsistent with pdf documentation. Can you please elaborate on that?






Michu Gura




Movies can now be written into .avi format. Frame rate is now changeable and can be adapted both for real time animation and movie rendering.

MATLAB Release
MATLAB 7.4 (R2007a)

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