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Chaos: die Ordnung des Universums

von James Gleick

Weitere Autoren: Siehe Abschnitt Weitere Autoren.

MitgliederRezensionenBeliebtheitDurchschnittliche BewertungDiskussionen
6,232561,244 (3.9)103
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).… (mehr)
  1. 20
    Die kreative Kraft des Chaos von John Briggs (SandraArdnas)
  2. 01
    Anti - Chaos. Der Pfeil der Zeit in der Selbstorganisation des Lebens. von Peter Coveney (Sylak)
    Sylak: I purchased these two books as companion reads. Others may find this a useful pairing too.
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481
  revirier | Dec 13, 2021 |
Very informative, but written to experts. If you are a novice at science (Like me) you won't get through this one fast... ( )
  OutOfTheBestBooks | Sep 24, 2021 |
In 2012, for the 50th anniversary of the publication of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, New Scientist shortlisted 25 popular science books and asked readers to select the top ten. The original list is gone from their site and the ten selected behind a paywall, but I saved it a list on Goodreads. (I didn't know how lists here worked at the time, that they could be voted on by members, changing the order. Nor did I know that readers could add their own titles, so I put the original lists in the description here.) Anyway... this book ended up #7 on the final 10. It's one I had for years, losing my copy to a fire in 2013, and one I thought I'd read back in the 1980s but as I made my way slowly through it, I realized I hadn't. (My replacement paperback, found used, had an inscription I like:" To Korey on Christmas 1988 Hope you can make sense of this ... Dad")

Reading this, I was surprised when I looked up Gleick's bio. the depth of knowledge and understanding needed to write it is incredible. I've been fascinated with chaos theory for decades. My graduate fluid dynamics professor put up a picture of a waterfall on the first day of class and said that the ultimate goal of fluid dynamics was to model it. I don't remember his name, but I do remember that. That and the challenges of the Navier–Stokes equations. Chaos (like turbulence, and Lorenz's study of climate) is a difficult science, and there are profoundly difficult concepts related here in an admirably readable way. Doesn't make understanding them easier! but it does help to relieve some of the academic tendencies toward obfuscation. Profiling the pioneering work of Edward Lorenz, Mitchell Feigenbaum, Benoit Mandelbrot, David Ruelle, and others, this is the book on Chaos theory. Gleick recounts the use of early computers, hand calculators, analog computers, early personal computers to delve deep into the infinity of subdivisions to come up with fractals, Feigenbaum constants, strange attractors, biological models, dynamic systems, and more. Non-linearity probably hasn't had a better champion. An engaging read that I kept setting aside to ponder and one I should have read already.

I used half of my stash of flags and made a ton of margin notes; recounting them here would be burdensome for me and for any reader of this! So, a fractional selection:

An epigraph to the chapter titled "Life's Ups and Downs" is by Harvey J. Gould, from Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems is good advice to anyone:The result of a mathematical development should be continuously checked against one's own intuition about what constitutes reasonable biological behavior. When such a check reveals disagreement, the the following possibilities must be considered:
a. A mistake has been made in the formal mathematical development;
b. The starting assumptions are incorrect and/or constitute a too drastic oversimplification;
c. One's own intuition about the biological field is inadequately developed; d. A penetrating new principle has been discovered.On the tendency of mathematics to distrust new, or different, advances (in this case, Mandelbrot's tendrils in just about any field):Mathematics differs from physics and other applied sciences in this respect. A branch of physics, once it becomes obsolete or unproductive, tends to be forever part of the past. It may be a historical curiosity, perhaps the source of some inspiration to a modern scientist, but dead physics is usually dead for a good reason. Mathematics, by contract, is full of channels and byways that seem to lead nowhere in one era and become major areas of study in another.An astute observation coming out of studies on turbulence:Traditionally, knowledge gained has always been special, not universal. Research by trial and error on the wing of a Boeing 707 aircraft contributes nothing to research by trial and error on the wing of an F-16 fighter. Even supercomputers are close to helpless in the face of irregular fluid motion.Modeling can generalize general concepts, but in nonlinear systems, everything is on its own.
Gleick says using "the nonlinear equations of fluid motion, the world's fastest supercomputers were incapable of accurately tracking a turbulent flow of even a cubic centimeter for more than a few seconds." Even Feynman had problems with this inability to model something appearing simple"It always bothers me that, according to the laws as we understand them today, it takes a computing machine and infinite number of logical operations to figure out what goes on in no matter how tiny a region of space, and no matter how tiny a region of time. How can all that be going on in that tiny space? Why should it take and infinite amount of logic to figure out what one tiny piece of space/time is doing?"There's the challenge, and why we'll never be able to model that waterfall, so much bigger than a cubic centimeter. And why something as seemingly simple as a three-body gravitational problem breaks down at a certain degree of accuracy.
Gleick tells of Mitchell Feigenbaum recalling the words of a composer I like, Gustav Mahler when describing a "sensation he was trying to capture in the third movement of his Second Symphony":Like the motions of dancing figures in a brilliantly lit ballroom into which you look from the dark night outside and from such a distance that the music is inaudible…. Life may appear senseless to you.And in addition to music, Gleick brings in poetry to the discussion, with quotes from Wallace Stevens, an early modernist poet. On quote (of many) that caught my eye was that of Scottish biologist (and mathematician and scholar) D'Arcy Wentworth Thompson:It may be that all the laws of energy, and all the properties of matter, and all the chemistry of all the colloids are as powerless to explain the body as they are impotent to comprehend the soul. For my part, I think not.That made me think of something from James Morrow's Only Begotten Daughter where a character says science does have all the answers - we just don't have all the science.

Simple systems behave in simple ways. Complex behavior implies complex causes, Different systems behave differently. And then with chaos, we find that simple systems can lead to complex behavior and complex systems, simple behavior. ( )
  Razinha | Jan 31, 2021 |
Not enough science in this history of science book. ( )
  Paul_S | Dec 23, 2020 |
> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Gleick-La-Theorie-du-chaos--Vers-une-nouvelle-sci...
> Persée (Zaoual H.) : https://www.persee.fr/doc/homso_0018-4306_1991_num_102_4_2603

> LA THÉORIE DU CHAOS, de James Gleick (Éd. Albin Michel). — Qu’est-ce que l’ordre, qu’est-ce que l’équilibre ? Une perpétuelle lutte contre le désordre et le déséquilibre, feed-back infini. L’univers n’est pas fait de théories linéaires. Il reste insaisissable mais ses éléments sont reliés. --Clés, Juil.-Août 1990

> LA THÉORIE DU CHAOS, Vers une nouvelle science, de James Gleick. — Ce livre est l’exemple type d’un formidable moyen d’information à la charnière de la vulgarisation scientifique et de la phraséologie hyper-sophistiquée du spécialiste. Actuellement, la pluralité des théories jaillit à tous niveaux de la recherche et de la science dès lors qu’elle met en cause l’homme, la matière, l’univers et le temps. René Thom, il y a quelques années, nous apprit avec pertinence que les catastrophes avaient une théorie. Cette fois, une nouvelle science point : celle du chaos. C’est un savant, encore un, génial, pur produit de Los Alamos, qui créa ce champ d’investigation extraordinaire où se posent les vrais problèmes défiant la méthodologie scientifique classique. Là où commence le chaos s’arrête la science conventionnelle. Depuis qu’il existe des physiciens étudiant les lois de la nature, le monde a été particulièrement ignorant du désordre de l’atmosphère, de la mer turbulente, des variations des populations animales, des oscillations du coeur et du cerveau. L’aspect irrégulier de la nature, discontinu et désordonné, tout cela est resté une énigme, ou pire, a été perçu comme une monstruosité. A Los Alamos, un centre d’études non linéaire a été créé pour coordonner les recherches sur le chaos et les problèmes qui s’y rattachent ; des institutions analogues ont vu le jour dans diverses universités à travers les Etats-unis. Une nouvelle science est née. Ce livre, qui a reçu un accueil enthousiaste aux USA, nous fait découvrir avec rigueur mais accessible au grand public, les théories qui vont changer l’univers scientifique de demain.
Du “Tao de la Physique”… à la théorie du chaos… N’y aurait-il qu’un pas à franchir ? Éd. Albin Michel. (Albert SARALLIER)
--Clés, (7), (Sept.-Oct. 1989), p. 63. … ; (en ligne),
URL : https://drive.google.com/file/d/1NbJ_ooSvDFgr0VSmWi3DjKdsPsBzRpGQ/view?usp=shari...
  Joop-le-philosophe | Sep 25, 2020 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (22 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
Gleick, JamesHauptautoralle Ausgabenbestätigt
Adelaar, PattyÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gamarello, PaulUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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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).

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