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Chaos: Making a New Science [Anglais] [Broché]

James Gleick
4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
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Description de l'ouvrage

26 août 2008
The million-copy bestseller by National Book Award nominee and Pulitzer Prize finalist James Gleick that reveals the science behind chaos theory

National bestseller
More than a million copies sold

A work of popular science in the tradition of Stephen Hawking and Carl Sagan, this 20th-anniversary edition of James Gleick’s groundbreaking bestseller Chaos introduces a whole new readership to chaos theory, one of the most significant waves of scientific knowledge in our time. From Edward Lorenz’s discovery of the Butterfly Effect, to Mitchell Feigenbaum’s calculation of a universal constant, to Benoit Mandelbrot’s concept of fractals, which created a new geometry of nature, Gleick’s engaging narrative focuses on the key figures whose genius converged to chart an innovative direction for science. In Chaos,Gleick makes the story of chaos theory not only fascinating but also accessible to beginners, and opens our eyes to a surprising new view of the universe.

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

“ Fascinating . . . almost every paragraph contains a jolt.” The New York Times

“ Taut and exciting . . . a fascinating illustration of how the pattern of science changes.” The New York Times Book Review

“ Highly entertaining . . . a startling look at newly discovered universal laws.” Chicago Tribune

“ An awe-inspiring book. Reading it gave me that sensation othat someone had just found the light switch.” —Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Chaos is a feast.” The Washington Post Book World

Biographie de l'auteur

James Gleick was born in New York City in 1954. He worked for ten years as an editor and reporter for The New York Times, founded an early Internet portal, the Pipeline, and has written several books of popular science, including The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood, which won the Pen/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award. He lives in Key West and New York.   

Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 384 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin Books; Édition : Revised (26 août 2008)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0143113453
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143113454
  • Dimensions du produit: 21,6 x 14 x 3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.5 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 47.607 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
  • Table des matières complète
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 just introductory 31 décembre 2012
Par kateloui
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
good book if you search an introductory book in chaos theory.
not too much science, more of a historical journey.
beware book first published in 1987!
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Cet ouvrage raconte l'histoire de l'émergence d'un domaine scientifique nouveau : la science du chaos. Reposant sur une connaissance approfondi du contexte scientifique et historique de la recherche dans de nombreux domaines scientifiques, il raconte cette histoire d'une façon vivante, qui permet d'avoir un aperçu de la façon dont a émergé cette révolution scientifique, et en même temps d'avoir des éléments de compréhension scientifique de ces domaines.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  157 commentaires
80 internautes sur 83 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Another excellent book for non-experts 8 décembre 2008
Par Paul Stevenson - Publié sur Amazon.com
I am not a hard scientist, but I like to have some idea of what is going on in those fields. Books like this one are ideal for people such as me. This book tackles the fascinating field of Chaos Theory. It turns out that certain patterns recur over and over in many diverse areas of the universe, whether it is the patterning of galaxies in clusters or the price of cotton.

Specialists working in many fields independently discovered curious patterns, and eventually, starting mainly in the 1970's, they became aware of each others' work. This book takes physics as the field on which it focuses, but it mentions many others. Since some of these fields involve conscious human decision making (especially economics), I have begun to wonder whether I can find comparable patterns in languages, my own specialty.

There are many reviews of a previous printing of this book: Chaos: Making a New Science, so you can go there to check them out. Other books useful to non-specialists interested in the history of and current research in the hard sciences are The Fabric of the Cosmos: Space, Time, and the Texture of Reality, A Briefer History of Time and Electric Universe: How Electricity Switched on the Modern World.
58 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Achieves its goal - even after 18 years 12 juillet 2005
Par David Schaich - Publié sur Amazon.com
When I first picked up Gleick's "Chaos" I was a little skeptical - could a book written in 1987 still work as an introduction to chaos and nonlinear dynamics, a field that has been evolving rapidly for the past eighteen years? Well, in a certain sense, it turns out it can.

The truth is that the focus of Gleick's book is not so much chaos itself as it is the people who first explored chaos theory and eventually managed to make it respectable and bring it into the mainstream. As the book's subtitle hints, Gleick is concerned mainly with how a 'new science' is 'made', not necessarily with the actual science or math involved. This was not quite what I was expecting from "Chaos", but it is actually an advantage for the book, since its age becomes somewhat irrelevant: although chaos theory itself has been growing and evolving dramatically in recent decades, "Chaos" deals only with its roots in the '60s, '70s and early '80s. On the other hand, I was hoping for more discussion of the science itself, rather than the personalities involved in its early development.

I was also not that taken with the style of Gleick's writing. His narrative tends to jump around rapidly, often spending only a few pages on some person or event before moving on to another, commonly with little in the way of connection or logical transition. This is fine for short articles in newspapers and magazines, but it doesn't work so well in a 300+ page book. The vast cast of characters (meteorologists, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists, biologists, ecologists and many others) spins in and out of view, and it can be very difficult to get more than a general impression how the little pieces all fit together in the big picture.

However, even though I'm complaining about the content and presentation, I'm still giving "Chaos" four stars. This is because "Chaos" managed to get me interested in and excited about nonlinear dynamics. Gleick was able to convey the sense of wonder and excitement that comes from looking at nature in a new way, through the lens of nonlinearity. He successfully presented the making of this new science as the greatest and most exciting scientific revolution since the development of quantum mechanics - with the difference that chaos is more accessible, more understandable, and applicable in a far wider range of fields.

In short, "Chaos" still achieves its goal 18 years after it was written. It gets the reader (this reader, at least) interested in and excited about nonlinear dynamics and eager to explore the topic in greater depth. Reading Gleick's book inspired me to pick up a copy of Robert Hilborn's "Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics" from the library and take a more serious look at the science itself. "Chaos" should make a good read for anyone who knows little or nothing about chaos or nonlinear dynamics but is curious about the topic and interested in learning a bit about its early development.
63 internautes sur 68 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Science Meets Nature 1 août 2004
Par Jason Enochs - Publié sur Amazon.com
Have you ever wondered why a leaf or tree is shaped the way it is? Can science explain the seemingly randomness of nature? This book will make your imagination run wild. Pure science meets Mother Nature. I would read from this book each night before I went to bed and then just dream about the possibilities. This is one of the most thought provoking books I have ever read. I grab this book off the shelf at least once a month and just thumb through it again to revisit some of the ideas. His explanation and discussions about nonlinear dynamics were very eye opening for me. The author also did a great job of providing a brief background of each scientific breakthrough along the way. This provided allot of additional and interesting facts that directly contributed to ones understanding.

You don't have to be a genius to comprehend and enjoy this book. Some of the reviews for this book complain about there not being enough math to support the theory. The lack of advanced math made this book even more enjoyable for me. The average person will appreciate this book just as much as anyone else.

This book also has some very nice full color illustrations. Nothing was spared for this book. You won't be disappointed.
30 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Order from Chaos 29 septembre 2007
Par Mr P R Morgan - Publié sur Amazon.com
We all know things that are not predictable. These can be everyday occurrences like the weather, or more specialised events (whether the stock market will go up or down). The unpredictable plays a large part in "normal life". Yet for some of these matters, there is a nagging feeling that if sufficient information were known, the unpredictable would indeed be able to be forecast with as much certainty as whether the sun will rise tomorrow. Thus James Gleick introduces the topic of `chaos' - there can be a "sensitive dependence on initial conditions". If we were to know the initial conditions in all their details, predictability would be brought within our grasp. Thus the flapping of the wings of a butterfly in China could result in rainfall in Indianapolis.

At times I was lost in the small detail, but the strength of this book is that it paints a big picture. The mathematics (and physics, and chemistry, and biology, and .....) is sometimes beyond me, but the overall story is that there is `chaos' all around. Some of the chaos is linked into classic Newtonian mechanics, but strangely enough, chaos almost has in itself an order and `predictability' about it.

The three of the most significant scientific theories of the 20th century are reckoned to be Einstein's General Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, and ...... Chaos Theory. Before opening this very historical account of the last mentioned, I knew nothing about the theory of chaos. Now I have an awareness of the subject, and how experimentation can play a part in mathematics. Experimentation and mathematics are not normally uttered in the same sentence.

Look for the big picture, and do not get lost in the people and places, which can be bewildering. If you read this book, please ensure that it has colour photographs within it - the pictures are both staggering, and help to bring home the message. Some areas of chaos have their roots in self similarity, and the pictures from Mendelbrot sets are both staggering and fascinating. Self similarity can be best summed up by the classic (and anonymous) ditty: "Big fleas have on their backs small fleas to bite them, small flees have smaller fleas and so ad infinitum"

Gleick is strong on the history and roots of chaos, and how the ideas were received when initially tabled. There was shock and disbelief that others from external communities could have something to say that would have relevance to (say) population growth models, from totally different scientific disciplines. There was also reluctance initially to publish some of the ground-braking ideas.

Chaos is about non-linear dynamics, fractals, fractal boundary basins and much more. As `chaos' as a concept (and almost as a discipline) spread, rather than bringing order when chaos had existed before (and this could be described as one of the main purposes of `science'), evidence of more chaos emerges.

From study, it could be that there is more evidence of chaos than we thought hitherto. There could be chaos in space, and the onset of cardiac arrhythmias (heart attacks) seems chaotic. Gleick speculates that `evolution' is chaos with feedback. He has made me more aware of randomness. Classic determinism generates randomness. Perhaps, just perhaps, chaos is a way to reconcile free will and determinism. All in all, unlike the pure scientists of old, I now find myself positively looking for chaos.

Perhaps that is a mark of a well presented book.

39 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Chaotic presentation. 11 mars 2006
Par John W. - Publié sur Amazon.com
This book has been on my "to read" list for several years, so I looked forward to getting to read it. While it is written in an entertaining style, I cannot whole-heartedly recommend it. This is more a book about the people who made contributions to chaos theory (non-linear dynamics and Fractals) than a coherent presentation of these theories. This is not the book to get if you want to understand Chaos theories, as it has less depth than the average Scientific American article. After reading it, I got a general feeling for the subject, but it was something that I had to piece together from the narrative.

As an analogy, it is as if a book on the Battle of Gettysburg consisted of biographical sketches of two-dozen of the participants, each detailing their contributions, but without an overview of the battle as a whole. You would learn about the people who fought there and from the descriptions of their individual contributions, you could piece together an idea of the battle. A good historian takes this type of information and uses it to create a coherent picture. I expect the same from a science writer.

The book contains some illustrations of chaotic systems and fractals, but in my opinion not enough. There are only a few mathematical equations; again in my opinion this could have been beefed up (at least in an appendix). I came away with a feeling that Chaos theory is very important and has many applications in different fields of science, but I knew this already, which is why I read the book. I would have preferred more of a linear presentation rather than this somewhat chaotic one.
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