Synopses & Reviews
"You believe in a God who plays dice, and I in complete law and order."
—Albert Einstein
The science of chaos is forcing scientists to rethink Einstein's fundamental assumptions regarding the way the universe behaves. Chaos theory has already shown that simple systems, obeying precise laws, can nevertheless act in a random manner. Perhaps God plays dice within a cosmic game of complete law and order.
Does God Play Dice? reveals a strange universe in which nothing may be as it seems. Familiar geometrical shapes such as circles and ellipses give way to infinitely complex structures known as fractals, the fluttering of a butterfly's wings can change the weather, and the gravitational attraction of a creature in a distant galaxy can change the fate of the solar system.
This revised and updated edition includes three chapters on the prediction and control of chaotic systems. New information regarding the solar system and an account of complexity theory is also incorporated. It is a lucid and witty book which makes the complex mathematics of chaos accessible and entertaining.
Synopsis
The revised and updated edition includes three completely new chapters on the prediction and control of chaotic systems. It also incorporates new information regarding the solar system and an account of complexity theory. This witty, lucid and engaging book makes the complex mathematics of chaos accessible and entertaining.
- Presents complex mathematics in an accessible style.
- Includes three new chapters on prediction in chaotic systems, control of chaotic systems, and on the concept of chaos.
- Provides a discussion of complexity theory.
About the Author
Ian Stewart is Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is an active research mathematician with over 140 published papers, and has written or co-authored numerous books including The Collapse of Chaos (1994), Nature's Numbers (1995), Figments of Reality (1997), Life's Other Secret (1998), The Science of Discworld (1999), and Flatterland (2001). His awards include the 1995 Faraday Medal of the Royal Society and the 2000 Gold Medal of the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications.
Table of Contents
Preface to the Second Edition.
Prologue: Clockwork or Chaos?
1 Chaos from Order.
2 Equations for Everything.
3 The Laws of Error.
4 The Last Universalist.
5 One-way Pendulum.
6 Strange Attractors.
7 The Weather Factory.
8 Recipe for Chaos.
9 Sensitive Chaos.
10 Fig-trees and Feigenvalues.
11 The Texture of Reality.
12 Return to Hyperion.
13 The Imbalance of Nature.
14 Beyond the Butterfly.
15 Von Neumann's Dream.
16 Chaos and the Quantum.
17 Farewell, Deep Thought.
Epilogue: Dicing with the Deity.
Further Reading.
Illustration Acknowledgements.
Index.