Cover image for Chaos theory tamed
Title:
Chaos theory tamed
Author:
Williams, Garnett P.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Joseph Henry Press, 2003.

©1997
Physical Description:
xvii, 499 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780309063517
Format :
Book

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Q172.5.C45 W55 1997 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
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Summary

Summary

This text guides the reader through the concept of chaos in friendly language, so that the lay reader can gain a foothold on the fundamentals of the vocabulary and significance of this new realm of thought.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

Williams's goal is a "basic, semitechnical introduction to chaos" for nonmathematicians. Here he presents such mathematical tools as vectors, probability theory, and Fourier analysis. Though this first section is technically simple, conceptually it is quite demanding. The subsequent presentation of (low-dimensional, noise-free) chaos theory is austere but uncommonly lucid. All of its aspects are explained in detail (except for fractals) and often elucidated with examples. The mostly nontechnical chapters on chaotic equations, attractors, and sensitive dependence on initial conditions are excellent introductions to these topics. The expositions of the various dimensions, the Lyapunov exponents, and the Kolmogorov-Sinai entropy are more advanced and particularly extensive, uncommon in a book at this level. Historical comments and biographical footnotes enliven the book, and copious references to the extensive bibliography extend its reach. The occasional remarks about the limited value of chaos theory to the real world exemplify the level-headed approach to this as yet unproven field. A list of symbols and an inclusive glossary are helpful, especially for the neophyte. The determined and persistent nonspecialist reader will indeed gain a "foothold in the fundamentals of chaos theory." Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. J. Mayer formerly, Lebanon Valley College


Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction
2 The Auxilliary Toolkit
3 How to Get There from Here
4 Characteristics of Chaos
5 Phase Space Signatures
6 Dimensions
7 Quantitative Measures of Chaos
Epilogue
Appendix
Glossary
References