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Chaos Theory

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics that falls under complex systems theory and is concerned with the behavior of a special type of dynamic system. The distinguishing feature of this type of system is its extreme sensitivity to initial conditions in determining the system’s behavior. The well-known term butterfly effect describes a chaotic pattern studied by meteorologist Edward Lorenz in his work on predicting weather patterns in the early 1960s. The roots of chaos theory, however, go back to Isaac Newton and the concept of determinism and deterministic systems. In this perspective, a system’s initial conditions completely describe the system’s future behavior. In his studies of weather prediction in the early 1960s, Lorenz found that his very simple weather system models generated wildly different ...

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