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Chaos: Making a New Science

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Chaos: Making a New Science Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The million-copy bestseller by National Book Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize finalist James Gleick that reveals the science behind chaos theory

National bestseller
More than a million copies sold

A work of popular science in the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, this 20th-anniversary edition of James Gleick’s groundbreaking bestseller Chaos introduces a whole new readership to chaos theory, one of the most significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time. From Edward Lorenz’s discovery of the Butterfly Effect, to Mitchell Feigenbaum’s calculation of a universal constant, to Benoit Mandelbrot’s concept of fractals, which created a new geometry of nature, Gleick’s engaging narrative focuses on the key figures whose genius converged to chart an innovative direction for science. In Chaos,Gleick makes the story of chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible to beginners, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.

Book News Annotation:

The 20th anniversary edition of Gleick's page-turner contains a new afterword by the author that speaks to the amount of attention now accorded chaos theory. His account tells the story of the scientists who pioneered the study of chaos, leading the reader along on their journey and explaining the science behind the questions and solutions as these unfold. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

The twentieth-anniversary edition of the million-copy-plus Bestseller

THIS EDITION of James Gleick?s groundbreaking bestseller introduces to a whole new readership the story of one of the most significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time. By focusing on the key figures whose genius converged to chart an innovative direction for science, Gleick makes the story of chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.

About the Author

JAMES GLEICK is the author of six books including the Pulitzer Prize finalist Isaac Newton and the National Book Award nominee Genius.

Table of Contents

Chaos Prologue

The Butterfly Effect

Edward Lorenz and his toy weather. The computer misbehaves. Long-range forecasting is doomed. Order masquerading as randomness. A world of nonlinearity. "We completely missed the point."

Revolution

A revolution in seeing. Pendulum clocks, space balls, and playground swings. The invention of the horseshoe. A mystery solved: Jupiter's Great Red Spot.

Life's Ups and Downs

Modeling wildlife populations. Nonlinear science, "the study of non-elephant animals." Pitchfork bifurcations and a ride on the Spree. A movie of chaos and a messianic appeal.

A Geometry of Nature

A discovery about cotton prices. A refugee from Bourbaki. Transmission errors and jagged shores. New dimensions. The monsters of fractal geometry. Quakes in the schizosphere. From clouds to blood vessels. The trash cans of science. "To see the world in a grain of sand."

Strange Attractors

A problem for God. Transitions in the laboratory. Rotating cylinders and a turning point. David Ruelle's idea for turbulence. Loops in phase space. Mille-feuilles and sausage. An astronomer's mapping. "Fireworks or galaxies."

Universality

A new start at Los Alamos. The renormalization group. Decoding color. The rise of numerical experimentation. Mitchell Feigenbaum's breakthrough. A universal theory. The rejection letters. Meeting in Como. Clouds and paintings.

The Experimenter

Helium in a Small Box. "Insolid billowing of the solid." Flow and form in nature. Albert Libchaber's delicate triumph. Experiment joins theory. From one dimension to many.

Images of Chaos

The complex plane. Surprise in Newton's method. The Mandelbrot set: sprouts and tendrils. Art and commerce meet science. Fractal basin boundaries. The chaos game.

The Dynamical Systems Collective

Santa Cruz and the sixties. The analog computer. Was this science? "A long-range vision." Measuring unpredictability. Information theory. From microscale to macroscale. The dripping faucet. Audiovisual aids. An era ends.

Inner Rhythms A misunderstanding about models. The complex body. The dynamical heart. Resetting the biological clock. Fatal arrhythmia. Chick embryos and abnormal beats. Chaos as health.

Chaos and Beyond

New beliefs, new definitions. The Second Law, the snowflake puzzle, and loaded dice. Opportunity and necessity.

Afterword

Notes on Sources and Further Reading

Acknowledgments

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143113454
Author:
Gleick, James
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Author:
Gleick, James
Subject:
Physics
Subject:
History
Subject:
Chaotic Behavior in Systems
Subject:
Mathematics-Popular Chaos and Fractals
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Revised
Publication Date:
20080931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
8-page color insert; 2-page b/w insert;
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.34x5.50x1.09 in. .94 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Advanced
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Popular Chaos and Fractals
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Systems Theory

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Product details 384 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143113454 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
The twentieth-anniversary edition of the million-copy-plus Bestseller

THIS EDITION of James Gleick?s groundbreaking bestseller introduces to a whole new readership the story of one of the most significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time. By focusing on the key figures whose genius converged to chart an innovative direction for science, Gleick makes the story of chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.

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