Poet Robin Chapman and Julien Clinton Sprott both were professors at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when their art-poetry collection Images of a Complex World -- The Art and Poetry of Chaos first appeared (World Scientific Publishing, 2005) -- and now both are emeritus professors: Chapman in the Department of Communication Studies and Disorders and Sprott in the Department of Physics.
Here is one of the poems from that collection:
Bifurcations by Robin Chapman
This is the path that pitchforks
in the yellow wood -- the one
where you wanted to travel both,
science and poetry,
physics and art,
and so bounced unpredictably back and forth,
taking each as far as you could.
Notes: The pitchforking path in the opening lines draws my thoughts to Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken." A bifurcation is, in general, a division of a structure into two parts.
But when it happens over and over, things might change from patterned to
chaotic . . . Here is a link to earlier postings in this blog on fractals and chaos; here is a link to previous postings of poems by Robin Chapman. This link leads to discussion of "bifurcation" at WolframMathWorld. On page 82 of the art-poetry collection by Chapman and Sprott is this comment about the term: There are dozens of different types of bifurcations, and they represent an active area of current research. Below (and appearing on page 83 of the collection) is the following illustration: