Chaos: Making a New Science Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 24 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Chaos.
This section contains 665 words
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Chaos

Chaos is defined as an unstable action in the presence of a stable environment.

"Chaos and instability, concepts only beginning to acquire formal definitions, were not the same at all. A chaotic system could be stable if its particular brand of irregularity persisted in the face of small disturbances." (Chap. 2, p. 48).

Gleick discusses the theories of Henri Poincare who was considered to be the last great mathematician working at the turn of the century. Poincare was the first scientist to understand the possibility of chaos.

Physicists began to assert that chaos was present with instability. In 1959, Smale received a letter from a colleague explaining that this theory was false.

"In the emergence of chaos as a new science in the 1970s, ecologists were destined to play a special role. They used mathematical models, but they always knew that the models were thin approximations of the seething real world...

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This section contains 665 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Chaos: Making a New Science Study Guide
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