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The blockbuster modern science classic that introduced the butterfly effect to the world—even more relevant two decades after it became an international sensation

For centuries, scientific thought was focused on bringing order to the natural world. But even as relativity and quantum mechanics undermined that rigid certainty in the first half of the twentieth century, the scientific community clung to the idea that any system, no matter how complex, could be reduced to a simple pattern. In the 1960s, a small group of radical thinkers began to take that notion apart, placing new importance on the tiny experimental irregularities that scientists had long learned to ignore. Miniscule differences in data, they said, would eventually produce massive ones—and complex systems like the weather, economics, and human behavior suddenly became clearer and more beautiful than they had ever been before.   In this seminal work of scientific writing, James Gleick lays out a cutting edge field of science with enough grace and precision that any reader will be able to grasp the science behind the beautiful complexity of the world around us.

Topics: Mathematics, Popular Science, Physics, Education, Space, Experiments, Scientists, Informative, Contemplative, Poignant, Cognitive Science, Essays, Illustrated, and Guides

Published: Open Road Media an imprint of Open Road Integrated Media on Mar 22, 2011
ISBN: 9781453210475
List price: $14.99
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Although the book slowed down in spots it still was very exciting. I loved reading about how non linear systems or Chaos slowly emerged to change the face of many disciplines today. Being a consultant it makes me take a fresh look at the way I view and interpret data looking for strange attractors and other things. It was very interesting to see how many of the pioneers of this new science had no mentors or support within their communities. As a matter of fact many of them were warned that studying a new discipline would not bode well for their careers.read more
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Book Description: Penguin (Non-Classics), 1988. Paperback. Brand New Book.read more
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An exhilarating read. Understanding variation, adaptability, and the overall beauty of our physical systems has never been this much fun to read about. Literally walked me through my own thesis. Absolutely brilliant!read more
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Reviews

Although the book slowed down in spots it still was very exciting. I loved reading about how non linear systems or Chaos slowly emerged to change the face of many disciplines today. Being a consultant it makes me take a fresh look at the way I view and interpret data looking for strange attractors and other things. It was very interesting to see how many of the pioneers of this new science had no mentors or support within their communities. As a matter of fact many of them were warned that studying a new discipline would not bode well for their careers.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Book Description: Penguin (Non-Classics), 1988. Paperback. Brand New Book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
An exhilarating read. Understanding variation, adaptability, and the overall beauty of our physical systems has never been this much fun to read about. Literally walked me through my own thesis. Absolutely brilliant!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I found this a fairly good introduction to chaos. It was well written and easy to understand, like a popular science book should be. A non scientist would have easily understood most of it, and would probably find most of it interesting too. The book might have benefited by having sections which had more detail, a bit more maths, as there is little technical information at all in this book. The book goes on about all the scientists and their stories, which played a part in the developments in the field of chaos. The author made sure it was kept interesting, and I imagine most readers would find the book genuinely interesting, as well as finishing with a better understanding of the topic. Those involved in the field of science should appreciate the book, as chaos can be found in many of the serious disciplines such as biology, physics, maths, and chemistry. It was also interesting to learn how chaos forms amazingly complex patterns from seemingly random things, if you know how to analyze them.
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The fundamental book on chaos science for the popular audience.
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James Gleick's early history of the science of chaos is a thorough and personal account compiled from hours of interviews, articles and lectures. Chaos is perhaps a somewhat controversial term in science and perhaps is better described as complexity forming out of simplicity or self-organizion emerging from apparent randomness. The simple, mechanistic way of viewing the world as deterministic, static and linear no longer holds water. In other words, systems are not clocklike machines destined to run down into a lifeless eternity, but rather evolve through time into more beautiful and complex patterns. At what point does a chemical feedback loop cease to become "mere chemicals" and become alive? Time can be viewed as a process, rather than a series of intervals. Gleick, for the most part, stays away from couching philosophical questions and rather lets the reader ask for themselves. This book is a fantastic introduction for those with the patience for scientific terms and interest in scientific history. For the less scientifically inclined a more general, great introduction on the subject is a book called the Turbulent Mirror, by John Briggs and F. David Peat.
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