Chaos: Making a New ScienceThe blockbuster modern science classic that introduced the butterfly effect to the world—even more relevant two decades after it became an international sensation For centuries, scientific thought was focused on bringing order to the natural world. But even as relativity and quantum mechanics undermined that rigid certainty in the first half of the twentieth century, the scientific community clung to the idea that any system, no matter how complex, could be reduced to a simple pattern. In the 1960s, a small group of radical thinkers began to take that notion apart, placing new importance on the tiny experimental irregularities that scientists had long learned to ignore. Miniscule differences in data, they said, would eventually produce massive ones—and complex systems like the weather, economics, and human behavior suddenly became clearer and more beautiful than they had ever been before. In this seminal work of scientific writing, James Gleick lays out a cutting edge field of science with enough grace and precision that any reader will be able to grasp the science behind the beautiful complexity of the world around us. 
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Good semilayman overview of Chaos theory  Goodreads
General introduction to chaos.  Goodreads
Such insight and engaging.  Goodreads
Gleick is a fabulous writer.  Goodreads
Layman's introduction to the theory of Chaos.  Goodreads
Pretty pictures, too.  Goodreads
Review: Chaos: Making a New Science
User Review  Stephen Davis  GoodreadsLayman's introduction to the theory of Chaos. Shows how chaos comes from processes which change over time by providing easy to understand examples like weather, and the beating heart. While showing ... Read full review
Review: Chaos: Making a New Science
User Review  Davyd Gosselin  GoodreadsIt is a bold book on a chaotic subject! I liked the accessible science and especially appreciated the illustrations. For example, the "waterwheel" summarized Chaos Theory for the layman. I would recommend the book for anyone curious about the subject. Read full review
Contents
Edward Lorenz and his toy weather The computer misbehaves Longrange  
Lifes Ups and Downs  
A Geometry of Nature  
A discovery about cotton prices A refugee from Bourbaki Transmission errors  
universal theory The rejection letters Meeting in Como Clouds and paintings  
Helium in a Small Box Insolid billowing of the solid Flow and form in nature  
sprouts  
Inner Rhythms  
A misunderstanding about models The complex body The dynamical heart  
Afterword  
Acknowledgments  
Common terms and phrases
Alamos Barnsley began behavior Benoit Mandelbrot bifurcation biologists biology boundary calculations cell chaos chaotic colleagues color complicated convection Crutchfield cycle D’Arcy Thompson David Ruelle deterministic dimensions disorder Doyne Farmer dripping faucet dynamical systems Edward Lorenz electrical equilibrium experiment experimental exploring Farmer Feigenbaum fibrillation flow fluid Fractal Geometry Gollub Harry Swinney heart Hénon Hubbard Huberman ideas infinite intuition Julia sets kind knew laboratory Libchaber Libchaber’s liquid look Lorenz Lorenz attractor Lyapunov exponents Mandelbrot set mathematicians mathematics Mitchell Feigenbaum motion nature Newton’s method nonlinear numbers orbits oscillations Packard paper parameter particle patterns Peitgen pendulum perioddoubling phase space physicists physics population predict problem produce random rhythms Ruelle Santa Cruz scales Schaffer scientific scientists seemed shape Shaw Shaw’s simple Smale strange attractors structure surface Swinney technique temperature theoretical things turbulence turned understand University unpredictable weather Winfree Yorke