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A POPULAR OVERVIEW OF THE SCIENCE OF "ORDER OUT OF DISORDER"28 mai 2014
Steven H Propp
- Publié sur Amazon.com
James Gleick (born 1954) is an American author, journalist and biographer who has written other books such as The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman, Faster: The Acceleration of Just About Everything, etc.
He wrote in the Prologue to this 1987 book, "Where chaos begins, classical science stops... The irregular side of nature, the discontinuous and erratic side---these have been puzzles to science, or worse, monstrosities. But in the 1970s a few scientists in the United States and Europe began to find a way through disorder. They were ... all seeking connections between different kinds of irregularity... The insights that emerged led directly to the natural world... A decade later, chaos has become a shorthand name for a fast-growing movement that is reshaping the fabric of the scientific establishment... The new science has spawned its own language, an elegant shop talk of fractals and bifurcations... To some physicists chaos is a science of process rather than state, of becoming rather than being." (Pg. 3-5)
He quotes the work of biologist Robert May: "Chaos should be taught, he argued. It was time to recognize that the standard education of a scientist gave the wrong impression. No matter how elaborate linear mathematics could get... May argued that it inevitably misled scientists about their overwhelmingly nonlinear world... '...we would all be better off if more people realized that simple nonlinear systems do not necessarily possess simple dynamical properties.'" (Pg. 80)
He notes, "In the end, the word 'fractal' came to stand for a way of describing, calculating, and thinking about shapes that are irregular and fragmented, jagged and broken-up---shapes from the crystalline curves of snowflakes to the discontinuous dusts of galaxies. A fractal curve implies an organizing structure that lies hidden among the hideous complication of such shapes." (Pg. 113-114)
He discusses the "mathematical foundation for this powerful technique of reconstructing the phase space of an attractor from a stream of real data. As countless researchers soon discovered, the technique distinguishes between mere noise and chaos, in the new sense: orderly disorder created by simple processes. Truly random data remains spread out in an undefined mess. But chaos---deterministic and patterned---pulls the data into visible shapes. Of all the possible pathways of disorder, nature favors just a few." (Pg. 266-267)
He quotes physicist Joseph Ford: "'God plays dice with the universe,' is Ford's answer to Einstein's famous question. 'But they're loaded dice. And the main objective of physics now is to find out by what rules they were loaded and how can we use them for our own ends.'" (Pg. 314)
For those wanting a “popular” level overview of Chaos theory, this non-technical book by a gifted and accomplished writer will be much welcomed.