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Chaos: Making a New Science

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  26,996 ratings  ·  829 reviews
Few writers distinguish themselves by their ability to write about complicated, even obscure topics clearly and engagingly. In Chaos, James Gleick, a former science writer for the New York Times, shows that he resides in this exclusive category. Here he takes on the job of depicting the first years of the study of chaos--the seemingly random patterns that characterise many ...more
Kindle Edition, Revised Edition, 384 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Open Road Media (first published 1987)
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Ashish Singh Not to the extent that you will miss the point. Having said that it is highly advised to google the terms described in the book, like 'fractal…moreNot to the extent that you will miss the point. Having said that it is highly advised to google the terms described in the book, like 'fractal dimensions' and 'strange attractor' to actually visualize the mind of the god !!!(less)
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3.99  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,996 ratings  ·  829 reviews

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Riku Sayuj
Sep 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chaos: The Tip of a Giant Iceberg

Gleick only gives an introduction about the actual science and beauty of Chaos. Instead he focusses on giving a poetic account of the scientists who first stumbled on it -- and their great surprise and their struggles form the narrative crux of the book.

While some may say this makes it a less informative book, for me this made it one of the most intriguing non-fiction books I have read. Gleick's way of telling the stories makes the reader share in the wonder and
لم أبدأ الكتاب إلا بعد نصيحة من أحد مُراجعي الكتاب على الموقع، ينصح من ليس له باع في الرياضيات بألا يخاف من الإقدام على قراءته ويعده بالكثير من الحماس!

حسناً، يمكنني القول أنني لم أفهم أكثر من نصف ما جاء في الكتاب، فالكتاب يعج بتجارب فيزيائية ومبادئ رياضية عجزت عن تصورها، ربما بحكم بعد دراستي عن هذه الأمور "المرعبة"، ولكن نصيحة القارئ تحققت جزئياً، فقد أصبح لدي حماس كبير لمعرفة المزيد عن نظرية الفوضى

سأبدأ بعيوب الكتاب، كانت هناك معلومات لا داع لها على الإطلاق، فماذا سأستفيد من معرفة مكان سكن الع
Aug 17, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
"The future is disorder."
― Tom Stoppard, Arcadia

“The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is.”
― Tom Stoppard, Arcadia


Half of what draws me to physics, to theory, to Feynman and Fermat, to Wittgenstein and Weber, is the energy that boils beyond the theory. The force living just beyond the push. I'm not alone. Many of my favorite authors (Cormac McCarthy, Thomas Pynchon, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe) and musicians (Mahler, Beethoven, etc) all dance aroun
I'm totally in love with this book. Like, totally.

Why? Because it GETS ME, MAN.

Just kidding. I'm not anthropomorphizing a breakthrough in science. Although, if I was, I'd DEFINITELY be cuddling with this stream of seemingly random information that keeps repeating in regular ways, forming order from seeming chaos.

Give me a seed and I will make you a universe. Or one hell of a trippy fractal.

I think I'll leave butterflies out of this.

Small changes affect great extrapolations.

Our physics generator
A series of extremely interesting and well-written biographies and anecdotes which don't really explain directly what chaos theory really is. No equations and lots of graphs, but that's just to make sure the general public isn't scared away.

Still, Gleick conveys the 'appeal' of chaos theory, or at least what people think it is about. In a complex system, the most minuscule change in initial conditions leads to drastic or unpredictable changes in the output. It is important not just in physics or
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: maths, science
I did study a bit of Physics in a past life, but you don't need to have a background in science to get something out of this book. It sounds terribly difficult, but really it isn't.

This book gives a wonderful explanation of the Butterfly Effect - one of those ideas in science that everyone thinks they know and understands, but that generally people have upside down and back to front.

I really do like popular science books, particularly if they are well written, relatively easy to follow and don'
Lis Carey
This book, over two decades old now, is one of the great classics of science popularization. It was a blockbuster bestseller at the time, and it's still well worth reading, a fascinating, enjoyable introduction to one of the most important scientific developments of our time--the birth of chaos theory.

One of the compelling features of the chaos story is that this scientific breakthrough wasn't a physics, mathematics, chemistry, astronomy, or biology breakthrough; it was all of them. A mathematic
Jan 29, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Reading Chaos will teach you that the world is neat and messy, predictable and unpredictable. The way you see it depends on how you look at it. For instance, the discussion of fractals will show you that there can be infinite space within a finite area. So, while you know when you reach into a box of chocolates that you're going to get chocolate, you still have no idea exactly what you're going to get: There is infinite "space" for possibilities within the finite categorical "area" of chocol
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: أخرى
( نظرية الكايوس أو الشواش)-تعد أحد أهم الثورات العلمية في القرن العشرين والعلم الحديث.
اذ تعتبر ثالث أهم نظرية بعد النسبية لآينشتاين والنظرية الكمومية( ميكانيكا الكم).

اشتهرت النظرية باسم «أثر جناح الفراشة»
الذي راج أولاً في أوساط خبراء الطقس- و تقول أن رفة جناح فراشة فوق بيجينغ تستطيع أن تغير نظام العواصف فوق نيويورك. وحسب المؤلف تعود أصول هذه النظرية لأعمال فكرية عدة في تاريخ العلم والثقافة .
غيرت النظرية الكثير في الأسس الفكرية والمنهجية التقليدية المتبعة، فهي تدحض مزاعم الحتمية والمحكم في الع
Bronislava Sencakova
Tu som sa prvý raz dozvedela o fraktáloch. Čítala som niekedy v období 1996-2000 a táto kniha šla v našej gympláckej partii a aj medzi spolužiakmi na matfyze z ruky do ruky. Podobne na tom bol Sobecký gen od Dawkinsa. Dve knihy, ktoré nám zamávali svetonázorom. Tá správna YA literatúra v rokoch 1990-tych :)

Obe si pamätám už len matne, takže jasní kandidáti na rereading.

Teraz (2018) som objavila ako odporúčanie ku kurzu behaviorálnej biológie:
1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology (video pre
Paul E. Morph
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting read. As much about the history of chaos theory and the scientists who pioneered it as the science itself. Contains the obligatory Jurassic Park references (in case you were worried).
When reading science books, it's difficult to know whether what you're reading is current or not. Gleick's book was first published in 1987, so I imagine by now there have been many developments and modifications to the ideas and theories presented here. That being said, this felt like a good introduction to the early history of scientists' efforts to understand and explain nonlinear systems and the apparent chaotic behavior observed in natural and man-made systems.

If you haven't studied science
Daniel Wright
Gosh, I was rather rude about this one, wasn't I? I'm moving the rating up a bit after my re-read (on audio) because it wasn't that bad, although I still think it's a bit overrated.
James Gleick's Chaos is possibly one of the most overrated books ever written. The first two pages are quite good, before rapidly declining to dullness and staying there. The content consists of a few badly written half-biographies, a few pretty pictures and v
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The greatest discoveries of the 20th Century physics include Relativity Theory, Quantum Theory and Chaos Theory. Of the three, the only one that we can see and play with is chaos. From the flight patterns of flocks of birds, to heart arrhythmia, to stock market fluctuation to the coast of Alaska, the underlying patterns can be revealed in this wonderful branch of science. There are newer books on the subject but none better for us lay people.
Jan 27, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: džep-toalet-bus
Sve je to vrlo interesantno, umešno napisano i razborito objašnjeno, ali je i dalje tek za lestvicu iznad laičkog poznavanja teme. Funkcioniše kao uvod i zanimljiva istorija, kao upoznavanje sa nelinearnom dinamikom, ali ne mnogo više od toga.

Jonathan Chuang
I found it quite informative, especially in communicating what it would perhaps be like working in science at an exciting time. However there were many sections that bored me and aperiodic jumps in his focus that left me lost a bit.

All in all I can say I have a better grasp of what chaos is all about... but on a bit of reflection... well, no, not really. A good history I guess, I'm now all fired up to read textbooks on this stuff (:
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The kind of book that just blows your mind with how cool it all is, and why doesn't anyone teach science like THIS. Because of this book, and the many delights that have followed, I am a lover of popular science writing. And also, I've learned way more than I ever did in school.
Nov 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
الحمد لله انتهيت الان من كتاب نظريهالفوضى ..

من البداية كان الكتاب جدا صعب علي في قراءته وفي فهم محتواه ..كنت اتجنب قراءته من الفنيه الى الاخرى لكنني اراني لا اراديا اتصفحه لفهم هذي النظريه.. وكيف اثبتت اشياء وكيف استفاد العلماء من هذه النظرية

وكيف نشأت اساسا..

قبل قراءتي للكتاب قرأت عنه اسئله محيرة ومشوقه في نفس الوقت تصيب الانسان بالفضول كما اصابتني بالذهول الشديد والصدمة وعدم التصديق من البداية

تأثير جناح فراشه تطير بسلام في الصين .. ممكن ان يُسبب زلزالا مدمرًا بأمريكا..!

تأثير ضرب مسمار با
Donna Woodwell
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
When this book came out in the late 80s, I remember eating in the college cafeteria while my physics teacher and fellow students chatted about this mysterious thing called "chaos theory." When I finally picked up my own copy, I wished I'd read it sooner.

The mathemetics of chaos (and order) has literally remade our moder world. From weather prediction to materials production to medicine, there's not a realm of technology that hasn't changed with our new understandings of the patterns that connec
Nov 08, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, physics
Not so much a new science as an old obsession of a few mystics... :(

Gleick gives an unorganized overview some fun mathematical concepts like fractals, strange attractors, and chaos theory.
But he exaggerates the importance of these topics, presenting them as a holistic revolution in physics, overthrowing reductionism, which just isn't the case.
The last chapter was incomprehensible hippie mysticism, then the book just ended leaving me wondering what the whole point was.

It seems to me like this boo
Jeff HansPetersen
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I finally read the book that ought to have been required reading for freshman physics majors for the past 20 years! The other day when the radio announcer reported the length of the Florida coastline, I found myself wondering what length measuring stick was used. It is interesting to contemplate how much of the themes of this book have migrated into the modern cultural consciousness. Then, you may wind up contemplating how much of that migration was due to Jeff Goldblum's ham-fisted illustration ...more
Jun 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
كتاب رائع، رغم ان المترجم بذل مجهودا ضخما في الترجمة الا انها كانت صعبة الفهم في كثير من الاحيان واضطررت للرجوع لمصادر اخرى. تشككت كثيرا اثناء القراءة في كون هذه النظرية علما اصلا وليس مجرد خرافات ولكن اتضح انه علم قائم بالفعل ونحن في غيبة عنه.
Feb 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Awesome predictability of unpredictability, namely sensitive dependence on initial conditions. Wonderful bifurcations and pretty things abound... it'll make you realise why we'll never understand everything.
Ami Iida
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This document is a basic book on chaos fractal theory.

  I prefer both text and its Illustrated.
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
“The only things that can ever be universal, in a sense, are scaling things.” That idea is at the heart of James Gleick’s book, and if you zoom in, there it is again!
Gleick is great at capturing the excitement of new discoveries, mainly be introducing the quirky contributors who wouldn’t shut up, play nice and stay in their lanes. These men and women crossed academic disciplines of math, physics. biology and meteorology (is that a thing? oh, sorry) because the seeming chaos they all encountere
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, chaos
The last month has been quite interesting thanks to both Chaos and Sync. They overlap quite a lot, but now I know all the pioneers in this field! It has been quite an exciting ride over these few weeks discovering this phenomenon. Although I have read Mandelbrot previously, I did not enjoy that book as much. Somehow, I must have missed out on the nuances of that book. However, these two books are quite exciting! Basic primers. Love these kinds of books. Giving such beautiful accounts of the whol ...more
Chaos, the concept, is often explained in terms of a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world, which tips some indescribable balance, leading to rain falling in another part of the world. It's an overworn cliche by now, but one that still gets to the heart of a quality of nature that scientists and mathematicians prior to the 20th century didn't really grasp. It was hardly their fault. Living in the age of slide rules and tables (or before), they can't really be blamed for focusing ...more
Dalal Alkhelb
Feb 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
كتاب يحتوي الكثير من المعلومات ، الدهشة ، والأسئلة !
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction

This book was a disappointment. The author spent too much time in repeating the same terminology and concepts like 'strange attractors' and 'sensitive dependence on initial conditions' and not enough time making it tangible by using real examples that would have made it more meaningful. For instance, what does chaos theory/nonlinear science mean for weather forecasting, predicting asset class returns, crime statistics, economic growth, timing of natural disasters? The author mentions these conce
Aug 23, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
More a biography of an idea than an explanation of a theory.

Gleick's examination of the emergence of chaos theory is well written, and relatively easy to read (relative when one compares it to the technical and academic articles on the subject upon which he draws). However, his focus is not so much on explaining the theory of chaos than on telling the story of chaos's transition from the fringe to the mainstream. In this, his work is an excellent complement to Kuhn's work on the The Structure of
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Science Book Club: Chaos: Making a New Science 5 34 Jan 12, 2019 07:29PM  
Science and Inquiry: * May 2015 - Chaos 52 107 Jun 30, 2015 01:53AM  
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رابط تحميل الكتاب 1 48 Mar 19, 2013 10:12AM  
  • Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos
  • At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity
  • Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos
  • The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World
  • The Fractal Geometry of Nature
  • Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order
  • The Essence of Chaos
  • Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness
  • The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World's Most Astonishing Number
  • Emergence: From Chaos To Order
  • Complexity: A Guided Tour
  • Infinite in All Directions
  • Complexity: Life at the Edge of Chaos
  • The Math Gene: How Mathematical Thinking Evolved And Why Numbers Are Like Gossip
  • The Riemann Hypothesis: The Greatest Unsolved Problem in Mathematics
  • The Constants of Nature: The Numbers That Encode the Deepest Secrets of the Universe
  • Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another
  • The Quark and the Jaguar: Adventures in the Simple and the Complex
James Gleick (born August 1, 1954) is an American author, journalist, and biographer, whose books explore the cultural ramifications of science and technology. Three of these books have been Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalists, and they have been translated into more than twenty languages.

Born in New York City, USA, Gleick attended Harvard College, graduating in 1976 with a degree in
“Ideas that require people to reorganize their picture of the world provoke hostility.” 51 likes
“You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it” 32 likes
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