The “highly entertaining” New York Times bestseller, which explains chaos theory and the butterfly effect, from the author of The Information (Chicago Tribune). 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. With more than a million copies sold, Chaos is “a groundbreaking book about what seems to be the future of physics” by a writer who has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the author of Time Travel: A History and Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (Publishers Weekly).
Explains the meaning and application of chaos--the study of patterns emerging from seemingly random phenomena--and introduces the scientists responsible for major discoveries in this field
Philip Alden, a Hollywood scriptwriter, searches for The Raven, a KGB-trained, CIA-supported, out of control international terrorist to kill him before he wreaks any further havoc
A look at the rebellious thinkers who are challenging old ideas with their insights into the ways countless elements of complex systems interact to produce spontaneous order out of confusion
Winner of the Royal Society Winton Prize for Science Books 2012, the world's leading prize for popular science writing.
Best Books of 2016 BOSTON GLOBE * THE ATLANTIC From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Information and Chaos comes this enthralling history of time travel—a concept that has preoccupied physicists and storytellers over the course of the last century. James Gleick delivers a mind-bending exploration of time travel—from its origins in literature and science to its influence on our understanding of time itself. Gleick vividly explores physics, technology, philosophy, and art as each relates to time travel and tells the story of the concept's cultural evolutions—from H.G. Wells to Doctor Who, from Proust to Woody Allen. He takes a close look at the porous boundary between science fiction and modern physics, and, finally, delves into what it all means in our own moment in time—the world of the instantaneous, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.
Describes how business managers can use scientific concepts to anticipate industrial trends and stay a step ahead of their competitors
An illuminating portrayal of Richard Feynman—a giant of twentieth century physics—from his childhood tinkering with radios, to his vital work on the Manhattan Project and beyond Raised in Depression-era Rockaway Beach, physicist Richard Feynman was irreverent, eccentric, and childishly enthusiastic—a new kind of scientist in a field that was in its infancy. His quick mastery of quantum mechanics earned him a place at Los Alamos working on the Manhattan Project under J. Robert Oppenheimer, where the giddy young man held his own among the nation’s greatest minds. There, Feynman turned theory into practice, culminating in the Trinity test, on July 16, 1945, when the Atomic Age was born. He was only twenty-seven. And he was just getting started. In this sweeping biography, James Gleick captures the forceful personality of a great man, integrating Feynman’s work and life in a way that is accessible to laymen and fascinating for the scientists who follow in his footsteps.
The role of chaos in science and mathematics is examined in detail by the essays that comprise this work. Distinguished scholars specializing in mathematics, physics, and chemistry discuss the following subjects: Fractals, by Benoit Mandelbrot; The Causality Principle, Deterministic Laws and Chaos, by Heinz-Otto Peitgen; The Transition to Chaos, by Mitchell Feigenbaum; Time, Dynamics and Chaos: Integrating Poincare's 'Non-Integrable Systems', by Ilya Prigogine; What Is Chaos, by Steve Smale; Chaos and Cosmos: A Theological Approach, by John Polkinghorne; and Chaos and Beyond, by James Gleick. Introduction by John Holte. This volume is number 26 in the Nobel Conference Series. Co-published with the Nobel Conference.
With 102 spectacular full-color photos, this fascinating "field guide" explores the world's natural disorder.
Presents a study of the human fascination with time from a psychological, biological, and cultural perspective, tracing the development of measuring time and exploring ways in which we try to stretch our allotted time
The study of chaotic systems has become a major scientific pursuit in recent years, shedding light on the apparently random behaviour observed in fields as diverse as climatology and mechanics. InThe Essence of Chaos Edward Lorenz, one of the founding fathers of Chaos and the originator of its seminal concept of the Butterfly Effect, presents his own landscape of our current understanding of the field. Lorenz presents everyday examples of chaotic behaviour, such as the toss of a coin, the pinball's path, the fall of a leaf, and explains in elementary mathematical strms how their essentially chaotic nature can be understood. His principal example involved the construction of a model of a board sliding down a ski slope. Through this model Lorenz illustrates chaotic phenomena and the related concepts of bifurcation and strange attractors. He also provides the context in which chaos can be related to the similarly emergent fields of nonlinearity, complexity and fractals. As an early pioneer of chaos, Lorenz also provides his own story of the human endeavour in developing this new field. He describes his initial encounters with chaos through his study of climate and introduces many of the personalities who contributed early breakthroughs. His seminal paper, "Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wing in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?" is published for the first time.
Explores the many faces of chaos and reveals how its laws direct most of the familiar processes of everyday life.
Now approaching its tenth year, this hugely successful book presents an unusual attempt to publicise the field of Complex Dynamics. The text was originally conceived as a supplemented catalogue to the exhibition "Frontiers of Chaos", seen in Europe and the United States, and describes the context and meaning of these fascinating images. A total of 184 illustrations - including 88 full-colour pictures of Julia sets - are suggestive of a coffee-table book. However, the invited contributions which round off the book lend the text the required formality. Benoit Mandelbrot gives a very personal account, in his idiosyncratic self-centred style, of his discovery of the fractals named after him and Adrien Douady explains the solved and unsolved problems relating to this amusingly complex set.