The Impact of Chaos on Science and Society

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Within the Past Decade there has been an explosion of interest in chaotic dynamics. Prompted by the growing body of knowledge about chaotic behaviour in an increasing number of scientific disciplines, a distinguished group of experts assemble in this volume to evaluate the impact that chaos has had on the conduct of science and on our understanding of society.

Presented here are contributions from mathematicians, physicists, biological and medical scientists, geoscientists, engineers, economists, and social scientists -- including pioneers and world leaders in research on chaos. The result is a lively and stimulating international, interdisciplinary exchange of experiences and ideas on chaotic phenomena. The volume concludes with an exchange among the experts on the past and possible future impacts chaos has had in the physical and social sciences. This book offers an assessment of the general impact of chaos theory and, it is hoped, will further enhance the interaction among scientists who may discover that chaotic dynamics play an important part in their respective fields.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789280808827
  • Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Pages: 416
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Table of Contents

1 Chaotic dynamics 1
2 Chaos and politics: Applications of nonlinear dynamics to socio-political issues 18
3 Is the EEG a strange attractor? Brain stem neuronal discharge patterns and electroencephalographic rhythms 64
4 The impact of chaos on mathematics 97
5 Chaos in neural networks 110
6 The impact of chaos on physics 127
7 Chaos and physics 133
8 Irreversibility and quantum chaos 146
9 Impact of high-dimensional chaos: A further step towards dynamical complexity 176
10 The impact of chaos on biology: Promising directions for research 190
11 Dynamical disease - The impact of nonlinear dynamics and chaos on cardiology and medicine 219
12 The impact of chaos on meteorology 232
13 The concept of chaos in the problem of earthquake prediction 243
14 The impact of chaos on engineering 255
15 The impact of chaos on economic theory 275
16 Chaos in society: Reflections on the impact of chaos theory on sociology 298
17 Strange attractors and the origin of chaos 324
Panel discussion: The impact of chaos on science and society 355
Opening address 384
Contributors 387
Index 389
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