The collapse of chaos: discovering simplicity in a complex world

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Viking, Apr 1, 1994 - Mathematics - 495 pages
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The Collapse of Chaos is the first post-chaos, post-complexity book, a groundbreaking inquiry into how simplicity in nature is generated from chaos and complexity. Rather than asking science's traditional question of how to break the world down into its simplest components, Jack Cohen and Ian Stewart ask something much more interesting: why does simplicity exist at all? Their story combines chaos and complexity and - surprisingly - derives simplicity from the interaction of the two.
The Collapse of Chaos is composed of two parts. The first half is a witty primer, a guided tour of the islands of Truth that have been mapped out by conventional science. This section provides a streamlined and accessible introduction to the central areas of modern science, including cosmology, quantum mechanics, the arrow of time, biological development, evolution, and consciousness. The unorthodox and adventurous second half dives into the Oceans of Ignorance that surround what is known. Educated by the first half to appreciate the subtler issues in the second, the reader is introduced to a novel and even heretical world where unconventional possibilities are explored through conversations with characters such as the Victorian computer scientist Augusta Ada Lovelace and - for the more outlandish scenarios - the alien inhabitants of the planet Zarathustra.

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THE COLLAPSE OF CHAOS: Discovering Simplicity in a Complex World

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Riding the wave of popularizations of chaos and complexity theory is this new contender by a pair of English science writers, Cohen, a biologist, and Stewart, a mathematician. Rather than enthuse ... Read full review

The collapse of chaos: discovering simplicity in a complex world

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

First there was chaos theory, best described in James Gleick's Chaos: The Making of a New Science ( LJ 8/87); then came complexity theory, the subject of Roger Lewin's Complexity: Life at the Edge of ... Read full review



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