The “highly entertaining” New York Times bestseller, which explains chaos theory and the butterfly effect, from the author of The Information (Chicago Tribune). For centuries, scientific thought was focused on bringing order to the natural world. But even as relativity and quantum mechanics undermined that rigid certainty in the first half of the twentieth century, the scientific community clung to the idea that any system, no matter how complex, could be reduced to a simple pattern. In the 1960s, a small group of radical thinkers began to take that notion apart, placing new importance on the tiny experimental irregularities that scientists had long learned to ignore. Miniscule differences in data, they said, would eventually produce massive ones—and complex systems like the weather, economics, and human behavior suddenly became clearer and more beautiful than they had ever been before. In this seminal work of scientific writing, James Gleick lays out a cutting edge field of science with enough grace and precision that any reader will be able to grasp the science behind the beautiful complexity of the world around us. With more than a million copies sold, Chaos is “a groundbreaking book about what seems to be the future of physics” by a writer who has been a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, the author of Time Travel: A History and Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (Publishers Weekly).
Best Books of 2016 BOSTON GLOBE * THE ATLANTIC From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Information and Chaos comes this enthralling history of time travel—a concept that has preoccupied physicists and storytellers over the course of the last century. James Gleick delivers a mind-bending exploration of time travel—from its origins in literature and science to its influence on our understanding of time itself. Gleick vividly explores physics, technology, philosophy, and art as each relates to time travel and tells the story of the concept's cultural evolutions—from H.G. Wells to Doctor Who, from Proust to Woody Allen. He takes a close look at the porous boundary between science fiction and modern physics, and, finally, delves into what it all means in our own moment in time—the world of the instantaneous, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.
New York Times Bestseller: This life story of the quirky physicist is “a thorough and masterful portrait of one of the great minds of the century” (The New York Review of Books). Raised in Depression-era Rockaway Beach, physicist Richard Feynman was irreverent, eccentric, and childishly enthusiastic—a new kind of scientist in a field that was in its infancy. His quick mastery of quantum mechanics earned him a place at Los Alamos working on the Manhattan Project under J. Robert Oppenheimer, where the giddy young man held his own among the nation’s greatest minds. There, Feynman turned theory into practice, culminating in the Trinity test, on July 16, 1945, when the Atomic Age was born. He was only twenty-seven. And he was just getting started. In this sweeping biography, James Gleick captures the forceful personality of a great man, integrating Feynman’s work and life in a way that is accessible to laymen and fascinating for the scientists who follow in his footsteps.
This fascinating book explores the connections between chaos theory, physics, biology, and mathematics. Its award-winning computer graphics, optical illusions, and games illustrate the concept of self-similarity, a typical property of fractals. The author - hailed by Publishers Weekly as a modern Lewis Carroll - conveys memorable insights in the form of puns and puzzles. 1992 edition.
Do we live in a simple or a complex universe? Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart explore the ability of complicated rules to generate simple behaviour in nature through 'the collapse of chaos'. 'The most startling, thought-provoking book I've read all year. I was pleased to learn that most of the things I thought I knew were wrong' -- Terry Pratchett
The role of chaos in science and mathematics is examined in detail by the essays that comprise this work. Distinguished scholars specializing in mathematics, physics, and chemistry discuss the following subjects: Fractals, by Benoit Mandelbrot; The Causality Principle, Deterministic Laws and Chaos, by Heinz-Otto Peitgen; The Transition to Chaos, by Mitchell Feigenbaum; Time, Dynamics and Chaos: Integrating Poincare's 'Non-Integrable Systems', by Ilya Prigogine; What Is Chaos, by Steve Smale; Chaos and Cosmos: A Theological Approach, by John Polkinghorne; and Chaos and Beyond, by James Gleick. Introduction by John Holte. This volume is number 26 in the Nobel Conference Series. Co-published with the Nobel Conference.
Isaac Newton was born in a stone farmhouse in 1642, fatherless and unwanted by his mother. When he died in London in 1727 he was so renowned he was given a state funeral—an unheard-of honor for a subject whose achievements were in the realm of the intellect. During the years he was an irascible presence at Trinity College, Cambridge, Newton imagined properties of nature and gave them names—mass, gravity, velocity—things our science now takes for granted. Inspired by Aristotle, spurred on by Galileo’s discoveries and the philosophy of Descartes, Newton grasped the intangible and dared to take its measure, a leap of the mind unparalleled in his generation. James Gleick, the author of Chaos and Genius, and one of the most acclaimed science writers of his generation, brings the reader into Newton’s reclusive life and provides startlingly clear explanations of the concepts that changed forever our perception of bodies, rest, and motion—ideas so basic to the twenty-first century, it can truly be said: We are all Newtonians.
Chaos, complexity and the U.S. military in the information age
Author: Sean T. Lawson
This book examines the United States military’s use of concepts from non-linear science, such as chaos and complexity theory, in its efforts to theorise information-age warfare. Over the past three decades, the US defence community has shown an increasing interest in learning lessons from the non-linear sciences. Theories, strategies, and doctrines of warfare that have guided the conduct of US forces in recent conflicts have been substantially influenced by ideas borrowed from non-linear science, including manoeuvre warfare, network-centric warfare, and counterinsurgency. This book accounts for the uses that the US military has made of non-linear science by examining the long-standing historical relationship between the natural sciences and Western militaries. It identifies concepts and metaphors borrowed from natural science as a key formative factor behind the development of military theory, strategy, and doctrine. In doing so, Nonlinear Science and Warfare not only improves our understanding of the relationship between military professional identity, professional military education, and changes in technology, but also provides important insights into the evolving nature of conflict in the Information Age. This book will be of much interest to students of strategic studies, military science, US foreign policy, technology and war, and security studies.