We present the underlying dynamics of snap-through structures that exhibit twinkling. Twinkling occurs when the nonlinear structure is loaded slowly and the masses snap-through, converting the low frequency input to high frequency oscillations. We have studied a nonlinear spring-mass chain loaded by a quasistatic pull. The spring forces are assumed to be cubic with intervals of negative stiffness. Depending on the parameters, the system has equilibria at multiple energy levels. The normal form and the bifurcation behaviors for the single and two degree of freedom systems are studied in detail. A new type of bifurcation, which we refer to as a star bifurcation, has been observed for the symmetric two degree of freedom system, which is of codimension four for the undamped case, and codimension three or two for the damped case, depending on the form of the damping.

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