The logo is a computer graphic of the Lorenz attractor. Edward N. Lorenz is one of the pioneers of modern chaos theory and, the Mandelbrot set apart, the Lorenz attractor remains the best known symbol of chaos research.
The meteorologist Edward N. Lorenz noticed during numerical investigations for computer aided weather forecasting that even the smallest deviations in the initial conditions can lead to radically different solutions (Lorenz E.N., Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow, Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences, 1963, Vol. 20, No. 2, pp. 130-148). This behaviour is typical for most complex dynamic systems. Since it is impossible to define or measure the initial conditions with arbitrary accuracy, it is also impossible to predict precisely the long-term dynamic development of such a system - even if the deterministic laws governing the system are known and can be simulated. In the case of weather forecasting this conclusion became world famous as the "butterfly effect": the wing-beat of a butterfly in the Caribbean is sufficient to alter the long-term course of global weather in a completely "chaotic" manner.
Lorenz also observed in his model that there is a set of states which is approached ever more closely by all solutions, regardless of how chaotic individual solutions may appear by themselves. By representing states of the system as points in three-dimensional space one obtains a fractal structure which became a symbol for order in chaos: the Lorenz attractor. Our logo shows two solution curves which both end on the attractor. Each trajectory is traversed by a globule and the total picture is best imagined as an extended exposure photograph of the stroboscopically illuminated scene.
The picture was generated with POV-Ray, a modern ray tracing program. The method used involves tracing back the path followed by light beams impinging upon the computer camera. By shooting virtual rays out of the camera a 180° turn is simulated for the "real" photons entering the camera. For each reversed light beam the program determines out of which emitted, refracted or reflected rays it gets composed upon interacting with objects. The same process is repeated for these rays. The original beam's colour value on entering the camera can be derived by summing up all interactions of all these reversed light beams. Performing this for every pixel generates a realistic picture of a three-dimensional scene.
Both the beginnings of computer graphics and the discovery of the Lorenz attractor took place in the early 1960s. This chronological coincidence is no accident; both had become possible as a result of advances in computer technology. This in turn was largely based on the invention of the transistor by Shockley, Brattain and Bardeen in the year 1947. Moreover, the latter would have been very unlikely without the quantum physics explanation of the microscopic world by pioneers like Heisenberg, Schrödinger and Dirac earlier in the first half of the 20th century. This interlinked chain of scientific and technical progress can be traced seamlessly back into the past or into other fields of knowledge, such as, for example, modern microbiology, whose most important foundation stone was the decoding of the biochemical structure of DNA by Watson, Crick and Wilkins.
The incredible intellectual richness achieved by the human intellect is worthy of protection from any point of view - which is why progress and the protection of intellectual property form a natural alliance. We at intellect propels are proud to be able to make a small contribution "behind the scenes" through offering high-quality translation services to the actual protagonists.