Chaos: A Very Short Introduction

Overview

Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behavior, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. Here, Leonard Smith shows that we all have an intuitive understanding of chaotic systems. He uses accessible math and physics to explain Chaos Theory, and points to numerous examples in philosophy and literature that illuminate the problems. This book provides a complete understanding of chaotic dynamics,...

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Chaos: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behavior, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. Here, Leonard Smith shows that we all have an intuitive understanding of chaotic systems. He uses accessible math and physics to explain Chaos Theory, and points to numerous examples in philosophy and literature that illuminate the problems. This book provides a complete understanding of chaotic dynamics, using examples from mathematics, physics, philosophy, and the real world, with an explanation of why chaos is important and how it differs from the idea of randomness. The author's real life applications include the weather forecast, a pendulum, a coin toss, mass transit, politics, and the role of chaos in gambling and the stock market. Chaos represents a prime opportunity for mathematical lay people to finally get a clear understanding of this fascinating concept.

About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Leonard Smith's Chaos (part of the Oxford Very Short Introduction series) will give you the clearest (but not too painful idea) of the maths involved... There's a lot packed into this little book, and for such a technical exploration it's surprisingly readable and enjoyable."— popularscience.co.uk
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780192853783
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2007
  • Series: Very Short Introductions Series
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 412,943
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 4.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonard Smith is a member of the Mathematics Faculty in Oxford and lectues on nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos.

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Table of Contents

Introduction
1. Whispers of Chaos
2. Determinism,Randomness, and Uncertainty
3. Nonlinear Dynamics and Unpredictable Physics
4. The Darling Bugs of May
5. Fractals, Strange Attractors, and Dimensions
6. The Dynamics of Uncertainty
7. Prediction and Prophesy in Physics
8. The Excuse of Chaos
9. The Newtonian Casino
10. Philosophy in Chaos
11. Shadows, Chaos, and the Future

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