Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Chaos: Making a New Science” as Want to Read:
Chaos: Making a New Science
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Chaos: Making a New Science

by
3.98  ·  Rating details ·  24,003 Ratings  ·  696 Reviews
The story of a scientific revolution that is dramatically altering the way we perceive and understand the world--from how ordinary people look at the eddies of a stream to how analysts discuss economic cycles. 8-page full-color insert and 37 black-and-white illustrations.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published October 29th 1987 by Viking Books (first published 1987)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Chaos, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

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)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
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
...more
مــــــروة
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 ا
...more
Darwin8u
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

description

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
...more
Hadrian
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
...more
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
...more
Ian19
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
...more
Trevor
Dec 08, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, maths
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'
...more
hayatem
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
...more
Jim
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
...more
HBalikov
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.
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 (:
Ryan
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 !
Donna Woodwell
Dec 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This book came out in the late 80s, and I've crossed paths with it several times without reading it. I remember talking about it while eating dinner one day in the cafeteria with my physics teacher and some friends from class. And my ex-husband had it on his shelf and I never got around to reading it. I finally picked up my own copy a couple weeks ago.

Gleick is a fabulous writer. Though a popular science book can only gloss a highly technical subject, Gleick does it well. But I found this book
...more
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
Kaethe
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.
Nader
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.
Victoire
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.
Taoufiq Hebboul
رائعة
(وَمَا أُوتِيتُمْ مِنْ الْعِلْمِ إِلاَّ قَلِيلاً)
أظنها الجملة المناسبة لوصف هذا للكتاب
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.
Steven Williams
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When I first read this book back in what I think was 1992, I would have rated it 5 stars, but now if I would reread it, which I do not plan on doing, I would give it only 4 stars because of the lack critical analysis. Not because he gave bad information, but because chaos is a lot more difficult to prove in any particular case, especially outside of the physical sciences, which he does not reveal. This could have been because back when it was written a lot of researchers assumed the applicabilit ...more
Sookie
Mar 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, 2017
A great introduction to new readers of the subject. If one is keeping up with physics for last decade or so, the content of Chaos doesn't offer anything new. With the introduction to chaos theory, Gleick gives a wide variety of historical anecdotes involving various scientists across borders and scientific disciplines who have observed the phenomenon but haven't been able to nail it.
Chaos brings these stories together and puts them under an umbrella. The narration becomes easier to follow and t
...more
Huyen
in the spirit of chaos, JG writes this strangely attractive book in an unpredictably aperiodically chaotic fashion, I never understand the messy structure of this book. sometimes he follows through the development of an idea very thoroughly, sometimes he randomly introduces something and then moves on to another guy who seems to be totally unrelated to the previous guy. There's not enough math for my liking and too much rambling about the scientists rather than what they actually did. Although I ...more
Gayle
Jul 02, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I truly enjoy the way James Gleick can take a complicated subject apart for the inexpert, I did not enjoy this book as much as I did The Information. I caught myself skipping, counting pages to the end of the chapter, even yawning and dropping off. Not a good sign for me.

Some chapters had me on the edge of my seat, or thinking "Ah ha! That's how that works." The overall sense that chaos has a sometimes deeply hidden pattern (that applies to all things) is interesting, but I didn't need
...more
Brad Lyerla
I enjoyed this quick read, though in the end I did not like CHAOS very much. It is a breezy history of two decades of mostly disconnected work done by a number of different researchers in widely divergent areas of science. In an apparent coincidence, a small number of unrelated people became interested in studying aperiodic, non-linear problems arising in various fields of science all at roughly the same time. Their research had not advanced very far by the time this book was written in the mid- ...more
Trav
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
...more
InaOkami
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
عندما بدأت الكتاب كنت متحمسة وتوقعت أن يتناول الكتاب علم الفوضى أو النظام اللا منتظم
ويسهب في شرح نظريات مشوقه مثل تأثير الفراشة والهندسة التكرارية والأبعاد فوق الثالث
لكن كل ما تضمنته هو إسهاب في تاريخ دراسة هذه الظواهر وسلسلة العلماء الذين تبحروا فيها وكرسوا وقتهم
وجهدهم لدراستها والرفض الذي لاقته نظرية الفوضى في بداياتها وصراع المفكرين لإثبات
أن علم الفوضى أو الكايوس علم دقيق يستحق الدراسة
بينما تلخص الحديث الفعلي والشرح للنظريات قرابة عشرين في المئة فقط من الكتلة الكلية لمحتوى الكتاب
فقط.. مجرد
...more
Doug Dillon
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chaos Theory explained in terms you can understand. Author James Gleick leads the reader in an exploration of patterns that lie just beneath the surface of what appears to be total randomness. His discussions about finding order in abundantly unexpected places adds a comforting depth to the universe we thought we knew.

Gleick's use of graphics, especially fractals, to explain this mathematically driven concept, greatly benefits math challenged people like myself. His use of short, attractive chap
...more
Tatiana
Aug 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great introduction to the subject. It turns out nonlinear systems are everywhere. Engineers have fooled ourselves by linearizing things for so long. We've basically pretended nonlinear responses are linear, so that we can deal with them. It turns out there is some extremely surprising and interesting behavior which is predictable in a general way, even if unpredictable in an exact way, that we've overlooked up to the last decade or so when Chaos as a science began to yield so many int ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Science and Inquiry: * May 2015 - Chaos 52 105 Jun 30, 2015 01:53AM  
Science and Natur...: January 2015: Chaos: The Making of a New Science 7 41 Jan 21, 2015 09:18AM  
رابط تحميل الكتاب 1 46 Mar 19, 2013 10:12AM  
  • Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos
  • Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order
  • Does God Play Dice?: The New Mathematics of Chaos
  • At Home in the Universe: The Search for the Laws of Self-Organization and Complexity
  • Complexity: A Guided Tour
  • The Emperor's New Mind Concerning Computers, Minds and the Laws of Physics
  • The Fractal Geometry of Nature
  • In Search of Schrödinger's Cat: Quantum Physics and Reality
  • The Collapse of Chaos: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World
  • General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications
  • Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics By Its Most Brilliant Teacher
  • Metamagical Themas: Questing for the Essence of Mind and Pattern
  • Turbulent Mirror: An Illustrated Guide to Chaos Theory and the Science of Wholeness
  • Journey through Genius: The Great Theorems of Mathematics
  • Impossibility: The Limits of Science and the Science of Limits
  • Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads to Another
  • The Trouble with Physics: The Rise of String Theory, the Fall of a Science and What Comes Next
  • Emergence: The Connected Lives of Ants, Brains, Cities, and Software
10401
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
...more
More about James Gleick...
“Ideas that require people to reorganize their picture of the world provoke hostility.” 42 likes
“You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it” 21 likes
More quotes…