Chaos: Making a New Science - Chapters 1-2 Summary & Analysis

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Chapters 1-2 Summary and Analysis

Chapter 1: The Butterfly Effect: Edward Lorenz and his toy weather. The computer misbehaves. Long-range forecasting is doomed. Order masquerading as randomness. A world of nonlinearity. "We completely missed the point."

Chapter 1, "The Butterfly Effect" begins with a quote from Richard Feynman: "Physicists like to think that all you have to do is say, these are the conditions, now what happens next?" (Chap. 1, p. 9).

Gleick begins by discussing the weather simulator created by Edward Lorenz. The weather changed slowly but surely, yet it never rained, seasons never changed, and nightfall never arrived. Instead, the weather was always a permanent, dry condition as if it was the middle of the day in some mid-season. Lorenz had created a type of weather Camelot. The year was 1960. Lorenz, a research meteorologist, was a fixture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Although his machine...

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This section contains 1,474 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Chaos: Making a New Science Study Guide
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