Lorenz, Edward (1917-)

EWARD LORENZ IS an American mathematician and meteorologist who pioneered the chaos theory. Lorenz conceptualized the strange attractor notion and termed it the “butterfly effect.” He is well-known for his work in the dynamics of atmospheric circulations, and the first to recognize what is now called chaotic behavior in the mathematical modeling of weather systems. In the words of the committee that presented him the Kyoto prize in 1991, Lorenz has established “the theoretical basis of weather and climate predictability, as well as the basis for computer-aided atmospheric physics and meteorology.” The committee went on to compare the impact of Lorenz's discovery of “deterministic chaos” on a wide range of basic sciences to that of the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton. Lorenz's discovery of the ...

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