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Few writers distinguish themselves by their ability to write about complicated, even obscure topics clearly and engagingly. James Gleick, a former science writer for the New York Times, resides in this exclusive category. In Chaos, he takes on the job of depicting the first years of the study of chaos--the seemingly random patterns that characterize many natural phenomena.
This is not a purely technical book. Instead, it focuses as much on the scientists studying chaos as on the chaos itself. In the pages of Gleick's book, the reader meets dozens of extraordinary and eccentric people. For instance, Mitchell Feigenbaum, who constructed and regulated his life by a 26-hour clock and watched his waking hours come in and out of phase with those of his coworkers at Los Alamos National Laboratory.
As for chaos itself, Gleick does an outstanding job of explaining the thought processes and investigative techniques that researchers bring to bear on chaos problems. Rather than attempt to explain Julia sets, Lorenz attractors, and the Mandelbrot Set with gigantically complicated equations, Chaos relies on sketches, photographs, and Gleick's wonderful descriptive prose. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Science readers who have gone through relativity theory, quantum physics, Heisenbergian uncertainty, black holes and the world of quarks and virtual particles only to be stunned by recent Grand Unified Theories (GUTS) will welcome New York Times science writer Gleick's adventurous attempt to describe the revolutionary science of chaos. "Chaos" is what a handful of theorists steeped in math and computer know-how are calling their challengingly abstract new look at nature in terms of nonlinear dynamics. Gleick traces the ideas of these little-known pioneersincluding Mitchell Feigenbaum and his Butterfly Effect; Benoit Mandelbrot, whose "fractal" concept led to a new geometry of nature; and Joseph Ford who countered Einstein with "God plays dice with the universe. But they're loaded dice." Chaos is deep, even frightening in its holistic embrace of nature as paradoxically complex, wildly disorderly, random and yet stable in its infinite stream of "self-similarities." A ground-breaking book about what seems to be the future of physics. Illustrations. QPBC alternate.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I've read this twice... great way to tell a story about science.Published 1 month ago by Erich the Red
This isn't a good book. It is more difficult to quantify than a simple adjective can allow.
If you know enough about "science" (maybe you read Discover or watch NOVA),... Read more
I wish I understood it better. Read it twice. Very interesting even to a non physicist non mathemeticianPublished 2 months ago by robert fitzmaurice
Nice light read with no technical complications added. It is a very approachable history of the development of research into dynamic systems, chaotic or complex systems.Published 2 months ago by Michael Forster
My mother bought our first computer, an original 1985 Macintosh, when I was in elementary school. I quickly set to trying to figure out how it worked- and set to learning to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Cryptic Counselor
Gleick's books are well researched, and brings new information to the reader
This book is for someone interested in the research world of science
This book is a great introduction to the scientists that pioneered chaos theory. Gleick makes the subject matter accessible to a more general audience, which is respectable, but... Read morePublished 3 months ago by j. blackmon
An essential book for anyone who wants to strike out on their own.Published 3 months ago by Charles Ferraro