Complex Dynamics of Bilinear Oscillator Close to Grazing

Ekaterina Pavlovskaia, James Ing, Marian Wiercigroch, Soumitro Banerjee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


In this work the strange behavior of an impact oscillator with a one-sided elastic constraint discovered experimentally is compared with the predictions obtained using its mathematical model. Extensive experimental investigations undertaken on the rig developed at the Aberdeen University reveal different bifurcation scenarios under varying excitation frequency near grazing which were recorded for a number of values of the excitation amplitude. In the paper, particular attention is paid to the chaotic oscillations recorded near grazing frequency when a nonimpacting orbit becomes an impacting one under increasing excitation frequency. It was found that the evolution of the attractor is governed by a complex interplay between smooth and nonsmooth bifurcations, and the interactions between a number of coexisting orbits. The occurrence of coexisting attractors is manifested in the experimental results through discontinuous transitions from one orbit to another via boundary crisis. In some cases, the basins of attraction have a fractal structure. Detailed numerical exploration also revealed coexisting unstable periodic orbits. These stable and unstable coexisting orbits are often born far from the parameter values at which they influence the system dynamics. The very rich dynamics of the bilinear oscillator close to grazing is demonstrated and typical mechanisms of the attractors' appearance and disappearance are explained using stability analysis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3801-3817
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010


  • impact oscillator
  • grazing bifurcations
  • chaos
  • coexisting attractors


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