Chaos: 2the Making of a New Science

James Gleick, Author, James Geick, Author
James Gleick, Author, James Geick, Author Viking Books $22.95 (36p) ISBN 978-0-670-81178-6
Reviewed on: 09/30/1987
Release date: 10/01/1987
Science readers who have gone through relativity theory, quantum physics, Heisenbergian uncertainty, black holes and the world of quarks and virtual particles only to be stunned by recent Grand Unified Theories (GUTS) will welcome New York Times science writer Gleick's adventurous attempt to describe the revolutionary science of chaos. ""Chaos'' is what a handful of theorists steeped in math and computer know-how are calling their challengingly abstract new look at nature in terms of nonlinear dynamics. Gleick traces the ideas of these little-known pioneersincluding Mitchell Feigenbaum and his Butterfly Effect; Benoit Mandelbrot, whose ``fractal'' concept led to a new geometry of nature; and Joseph Ford who countered Einstein with ``God plays dice with the universe. But they're loaded dice.'' Chaos is deep, even frightening in its holistic embrace of nature as paradoxically complex, wildly disorderly, random and yet stable in its infinite stream of ``self-similarities.'' A ground-breaking book about what seems to be the future of physics. Illustrations. QPBC alternate. (October 20)
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