General Science, Mathematics, and Technology


What is the science of chaos?

Chaos or chaotic behavior is the behavior of a system whose final state depends very sensitively on the initial conditions. The behavior is unpredictable and cannot be distinguished from a random process, even though it is strictly determinate in a mathematical sense. Chaos studies the complex and irregular behavior of many systems in nature, such as changing weather patterns, flow of turbulent fluids, and swinging pendulums. Scientists once thought they could make exact predictions about such systems, but found that a tiny difference in starting conditions can lead to greatly different results. Chaotic systems do obey certain rules, which mathematicians have described with equations, but the science of chaos demonstrates the difficulty of predicting the long-range behavior of chaotic systems.


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