Dynamical systems are mathematical models in which each point's movement over time is set by a fixed rule. While these systems have some practical uses, such as tracking wildlife migration patterns or measuring the flow of water through a pipe, they can also create stunningly beautiful images. The University of Liverpool has put up a gallery of dynamical systems images, like the one above, which shows a four-dimensional system expressed in two dimensions. Sometimes, dynamical systems even create math porn.There's a slideshow of dynamical systems images, narrated by math Professor Lasse Rempe, here. The images are very intricate and aesthetically pleasing - each point in an image is essentially its own dynamical system, reacting to the rules within its equation. Dr. Rempe also discusses briefly the nature of art, and whether such mathematically produced images count as "art." He feels that the artist's intention is the deciding factor, which brings to mind some interesting questions about the possibility of computer-generated art. Some of the images are just plain peculiar. What exactly are we looking at here? What equation created this?

I'll leave it to the io9 readers' fertile imaginations to decide. Images by: BBC. Audio slideshow: The art of mathematics. [BBC News]