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The Essence of Chaos

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  229 ratings  ·  11 reviews
Chaos surrounds us. Seemingly random events -- the flapping of a flag, a storm-driven wave striking the shore, a pinball's path -- often appear to have no order, no rational pattern. Explicating the theory of chaos and the consequences of its principal findings -- that actual, precise rules may govern such apparently random behavior -- has been a major part of the work of ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published October 1st 1995 by University of Washington Press (first published January 1st 1993)
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  229 ratings  ·  11 reviews

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Gran libro, escrito con algún sesgo hacia lo personal por parte de uno de los autores que descubrió el caos como ciencia independiente. No es un libro técnico, pero al autor no le da miedo plantar de vez en cuando un sistema de ecuaciones, lo que me encanta. Se nota la mano del matemático en el estudio del caos. El libro consta de dos partes no diferenciadas. La primera es un estudio sobre un modelo en el que vemos aparecer el caos, un estudio sobre una tabla de esquí que se deja caer por una cu ...more
Jul 03, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with "mathematical maturity" and an interest in chaos
Shelves: popular-physics
At last, a somewhat respectable introduction to chaos for anyone not repulsed by a bit of math. Lorenz may not be as polished a writer as James Gleick, but his knowledge of the field, its mathematics, and its development is unrivaled.

The majority of the book is spent exploring several examples of chaotic systems in detail. The book is not necessarily packed with equations (those are saved for the appendices) but it does require some "mathematical maturity" (essentially, you must be able to read
Duffy Pratt
Jul 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
I picked this up because I'm interested in studying markets and technical analysis. The Black Swan talks a bit about fractals and the Mandelbrot set. One of the interesting thing about some fractals is that the part resembles the whole. In technical analysis, there are several techniques that apply to charts, and the period of the chart doesn't matter. The same sorts of things work on weekly, daily and hourly charts, etc.... Another part of technical analysis is Elliot Wave theory. Without getti ...more
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
As a book for people with advanced geometry experience or a BA in mathematics, this would be a great intro read for Chaos studies. Lorenz is a recognized name in this subject, and he certainly helped advance exploration into dynamic systems/chaos, as theory and in application to various fields. As a book for the general public this book is a bit less successful. There are a few paragraphs where it seems Lorenz was trying to simplify his writing for the general reader, but even then, the writing ...more
A sort of "201-level" sibling of James Gleick's CHAOS: MAKING A NEW SCIENCE (which I read and rated 5 stars, it's really good). If you want to read Lorenz's personal thoughts and explanations of chaos, as well as his enlightening perspective on (20th c.) weather modeling, this is worth picking up. There's also a nice bibliography and an Appendix with some actual math in it.
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
A Great Primer On Chaos Theory.

Edward Lorenz takes a complicated topic and makes it accessible for all people, regardless of prior knowledge of chaos theory. He provides interesting and easy to follow examples of chaos, fractals and complexity. The illustrations are helpful and he includes a glossary of terms to aid the beginning chaos enthusiasts to quickly become familiar with the terminology. Mr. Lorenz gives a brief history of chaos and explains how it is used in the study of mathematics, me
May Ling
Jun 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mathematics
I do agree with the reviews, but am perhaps a bit more positive. Here's my thoughts.

The Essence of Chaos is a valiant effort to try to describe the concepts behind chaotic and limited-chaotic systems. He chose some interesting examples, but there might have been others that have greater universal appeal. He stops just at Mandlebrott just short of some of the more interesting possibilities of Chaos theory in describing social system. That's unfortunate. But, hey, it's a short book!!

Mar 20, 2008 is currently reading it
i'm reading about 5 books on chaos theory and fractal geometry. i'm doing research on the mandelbrot set for a mathematics seminar. basically, after my resarch, i'll rate each of the books on mathematical insight, helpfulness, and essentially how easy it is to read ( although this is an extremely complicated level of math and sometimes hard to follow even the easiest of texts)
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Essence of Chaos (Lorenz 1993) breaks down Chaos Theory in layman's terms. Excerpt: Appendixes present the first publication of Lorenz's seminal paper "Does the Flap of a Butterfly's Wing in Brazil Set Off a Tornado in Texas?"; the mathematical equations from which the copious illustrations were derived; and a glossary.
Sep 10, 2015 rated it liked it
A good book on chaos requiring and understanding of more mathematical concepts than Dr. Lorenz discusses, but he provides good examples, particularly the snowboarding ones. For the mathematical oriented readers, I found the glossary to be useful.
Feb 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
I'm re-reading this on a lark. My youngest son sometimes brings Chaos theory to mind. :) It's a fasinating read. Don't fear the math. You can understand most of it w/out an advanced understanding of mathmatics.
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