Chaos Theory Has Filtered Down Book Review

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Gleick's explanation is more conversational and has a popular appeal, as noted, while Stewart's explanation, while not impenetrable by any means, is more mathematical in nature, more technical, and more extensive in many ways. He is not telling the story of chaos as much as he is showing how it was derived and how it is applied in different scientific fields of investigation. He even follows poets in considering the nature of such chaotic systems as water flowing in a brook, something that has long fascinated poets and physicists alike and something that is not easy to analyze or predict. Different tools have been developed for measuring different physical properties, such as oscillators and various sound equipment. Stewart looks at these for what they show about both order and chaos at the same time. Stewart also raises the Hyperion issue and how it illuminates chaos theory and is in turn illuminated by that theory itself.
There are similarities between these two discussions, but reading both could only expand the awareness of the reader and provide different examples, different manifestations, and different forms of the theory. Comparing the two books shows how different theorists may approach the same issue in very different ways and may both reach correct or similar conclusions based on the scientific method. A reader interested in the subject can benefit from both books, singly or together.

Works Cited

Gleick, James. Chaos: Making a New Science. New York: Penguin, 1988.

Stewart, Ian. Does God Play Dice?: The….....

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