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Chaos: A Very Short Introduction

Leonard Smith

February 2007

ISBN: 9780192853783

200 pages
Paperback
174x111mm

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99

Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behaviour, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. This Very Short Introduction draws in philosophy, literature, and accessible maths to explain and illuminate Chaos Theory, showing the variety of its fascinating applications in the real world - from technology to global warming, politics, and even gambling on the stock market.

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Description

Chaos exists in systems all around us. Even the simplest system can be subject to chaos, denying us accurate predictions of its behaviour, and sometimes giving rise to astonishing structures of large-scale order. This Very Short Introduction draws in philosophy, literature, and accessible maths to explain and illuminate Chaos Theory, showing the variety of its fascinating applications in the real world - from technology to global warming, politics, and even gambling on the stock market.

  • Chaos theory is one of the most exciting and fast-growing areas of mathematics and physical science today.
  • It unifies simplicity and complexity, and order and randomness, to give us a new understanding of a physical processes and events.
  • Ideal for the non-mathematician - Leonard Smith uses accessible examples and terms to give the reader a full understanding of this exciting field.

About the Author(s)

Leonard Smith, Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics, University of Oxford

Table of Contents

    Preface
    1:The Emergence of Chaos
    2:Exponential Growth, Nonlinearity, Common Sense
    3:Chaos in Context: Determinism Randomness and Noise
    4:Chaos in Mathematical Models
    5:Fractals, Strange Attractors, and Dimension(s)
    6:Quantifying the Dynamics of Uncertainty
    7:Real numbers, Real Observations and Computers
    8:Sorry, Wrong Number: Statistics and Chaos
    9:Predictability: Does Chaos Constrain Our Forecasts?
    10:Applied Chaos: Can We See Through Our Models?
    11:Philosophy in Chaos
    Glossary
    Further Reading

Reviews

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 readble and enjoyable - I really wanted to keep turning the pages. Smith also has some excellent words of wisdom about common misunderstandings of chaos theory... One of the best books so far in this useful and informative series. - popularscience.co.uk

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