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Chaos, a book by James Gleick, is a best seller that first introduced the concept and early development of the chaos theory to the public. Chaos theory is a relatively new field in physics, and deals with simple and complex causes that react to one another. Chaos theory is considered as the third revolution in 20th-century science that uses traditional mathematical ways of understanding and explaining complex natural systems. It philosophically counters the second law of thermodynamics.

The science of chaos cuts across traditional scientific disciplines, tying together unrelated kinds of wildness and irregularity, from the turbulence of weather to the complicated rhythms of the human heart, from the design of snowflakes to the whorls of windswept desert sands. After reading CHAOS, you will never look at the world in quite the same way again.

Chaos helps us in understanding the fact that there is growth and pattern in chaos itself, despite the outward appearance of being random. Various concepts such as the butterfly effect, universal constants, and strange attractors are discussed at a length in the book. Numerous theories of Mitchell J Feigenbaum and D’arcy Thompson are discussed in an elaborate manner, while also taking into account their historical background. The book explains the Mandelbrot Set and Julia Set without resorting to complex mathematics. In this book, the importance of scientific education is stressed upon by the author.

This book has been nominated for numerous book awards and widely acclaimed as one of the best books on chaos theory. This book was published in 1997 by RHUK.

About the Author
Gleick was born in New York City in 1954. He graduated from Harvard College in 1976 and helped found Metropolis, an alternative weekly newspaper in Minneapolis. Then he worked for ten years as an editor and reporter for The New York Times.

His first book, Chaos: Making a New Science, was a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist. He collaborated with the photographer Eliot Porter on Nature’s Chaos and with developers at Autodesk on Chaos: The Software. His other books include the best-selling biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and Isaac Newton, both shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize, as well as Faster and What Just Happened. They have been translated into twenty-five languages.

In 1989-90, he was the McGraw Distinguished Lecturer at Princeton University. For some years, he wrote the Fast Forward column in the New York Times Magazine.

With Uday Ivatury, he founded The Pipeline, a pioneering New York City-based Internet service in 1993, and was its chairman and chief executive officer until 1995. He was the first editor of the Best American Science Writing series. He was elected president of the Authors Guild in 2017.

GREG RAKOZY COTTONBRO

 

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