Chaos: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $11.95
  • Save: $2.61 (22%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 16 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Like New | Details
Sold by SammysBookshop
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Orders Are Packed & Shipped, Safe & Fast.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Chaos: A Very Short Introduction Paperback – April 16, 2007


See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$9.34
$3.96 $3.90

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Order any four paperback "Very Short Introductions" and get the lowest-price book free. Here's how (restrictions apply)
  • Get a $75 Amazon.com Gift Card: Get the Discover it Card and get a $75.00 Amazon.com Gift Card after your first purchase. Learn more.

Frequently Bought Together

Chaos: A Very Short Introduction + Nothing: A Very Short Introduction + Quantum Theory: A Very Short Introduction
Price for all three: $26.81

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853783
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #184,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"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


About the Author


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

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
2
3 star
5
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 14 customer reviews
This book was a required for a class, but I still found it really interesting.
V. Peck
I found some of the jargon and math ideas intimidating and didn't feel like I was comprehending all of the concepts that the author was trying to communicate.
Trevor Neal
There are very few concise introductions to chaos and its applications, so this one is well worth reading.
kartenhaus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Irfan A. Alvi TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book starts out promising but, as one goes along, it drifts farther and farther from what an introduction to chaos should be.

In particular, the book turns out to be largely a discussion of modeling and forecasting, with some emphasis on the relevant implications of chaos. Moreover, most of the examples and applications relate to weather and climate, which becomes boring after a while (especially considering the abundance of other options). Smith's bio reveals that this is exactly his specialty, so the book appears to be heavily shaped by his background and interests, rather than what's best for a general audience. As a result, many standard and important topics in chaos theory recieve little or no mention, and I think the book fails as a proper introduction to chaos.

A further problem is that much of Smith's discussion is muddled, especially in the later chapters. It's as though he wants to probe deeply, but can't take time to really spell things out, so he winds up being unclear. This lack of clarity is exacerbated by his bending over backwards to avoid writing out even the simplest equations, which is cumbersome and annoying, not to mention out of place given Smith's efforts to present some fairly sophisticated material.

Considering all of this, I can recommend the book only to people who are particularly interested in modeling, forecasting, and the relevant implications of chaos, especially as this relates to weather and climate. In this context, Smith's discussion of the differences between mathematical, physical, statistical, and philosophical perspectives is particularly insightful and useful.

However, I can't recommend the book for a general audience, and I would definitely recommend against it as a first book on chaos. It's simply too incomplete and unbalanced for that purpose.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Alan D. Gray on October 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I really struggled in trying to rate this book, as I really want to be fair and equitable in all my reviews. Perhaps it is a very good book and I have "short-changed" it, but I cannot really say because, after reading it, I feel just about as confused and bewildered regarding mathematical chaos as I did before I launched into it. Well, I do not suppose that reading it "hurt" me! But, in my humble opinion, this condensed, compressed "cutting edge" stuff is not for "beginners"!

It seems like I would have a "fighting chance" to readily comprehend the content of this little book, given that I am what many people would call a "well-read" and intelligent person (and I even have a graduate degree with a "minor" in multivariate statistics from a respected university). But no way! I was confused early on in trying to decipher this book on my own. I really needed a patient teacher to hold my hand. Maybe I am basically dense, stupid, below average in IQ, and/or just getting old -- who knows? But, while I endeavored to read this "very short introduction", I found myself thinking that, at least for the average person, it may be possible, but not probable, that they will grasp much of the content beyond perhaps a few vague intuitive notions. Otherwise, I learned a few new impressive words, what a "vole" is, a little about "Olbers' paradox", and that Edgar Allan Poe was seriously interested in cosmology (for example, see his essay entitled, "Eureka").
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Xavier Matos on May 20, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this topic is too interesting, but it can be easily messed up by bad explanations
this book is an excellent introduction, using clear real world examples and relating them to hardcore mathematical principles beautifully
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Lober on May 15, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I understand this series is focused on providing an introduction to virtually anyone, but honestly, I doubt many people are reading a book about chaos who aren't at least a little well versed in math. If you already have a basic familiarity with chaos, this is not the novel for you - if you are completely new to the idea and/or a first year college student then go for it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Raghuveer Parthasarathy on November 28, 2012
Format: Paperback
While readable and accurate, the book has two main flaws. First, there already exists an excellent book on chaos for the general (non-scientist) reader: Gleick's "Chaos: Making a New Science". Gleick's history of and introduction to the topic are clear and dramatically written, more so than Smith's book. Smith notably attempts to describe more topical and complicated issues related to forecasting and modeling, but these later chapters -- probably deserving a book in themselves -- are a bit rushed and not too tightly related to issues of chaos. It's nice that the author spends time on climate issues, briefly explaining why there's a strong consensus about global warming for example, but it doesn't make for a coherent book on Chaos.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. Peck on August 7, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book was a required for a class, but I still found it really interesting. If you are into math or science I would recommend it.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
By Trevor Neal on April 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoy this short introduction series. I have read several books from this series and have found that it is a good way to learn about topics I have always wanted to learn about but never found the time to study in depth. Nevertheless, I was a little disappointed with this book.

I have heard about chaos theory for years and 'the butterfly effect,' that chaos theory invokes has almost become cliché. Yet, I didn't understand what chaos theory was. That is why I picked up this book. Now, after reading it, if I understand rightly, it seems like chaos is an apparent lack of order within a system and chaos theory is an attempt to measure and model uncertainty within particular systems. Even though there is apparent disorder there is an underlying order in which small events can lead to complex results, thus the famous 'butterfly effect.' of chaos theory. The theory actually arose from attempts to understand and model weather patterns, and to predict future weather. It was out of the need to understand uncertainty in weather that the science grew.

That was about as far as I got in my understanding of the ideas contained within. The author claimed readers didn't need to be mathematicians to understand what he was saying about chaos. Sure, he never threw any formulas at me. Yet, much of the concepts and jargon was derived from math. I feel to really appreciate what he was saying about chaos theory one needs a solid background in math. I found some of the jargon and math ideas intimidating and didn't feel like I was comprehending all of the concepts that the author was trying to communicate.

Again, could have the author communicated the concepts better, or does the reader need the background to understand what the author was saying?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?