Chaos Theory and You

Powerful Essays
We live in a world that we can consider, for the most part, fairly predictable. For example, I can say with confidence, that if someone does not study for a test, they will not do as well on the test than if they had studied. But what if that wasn’t always the case? What if nothing had a set outcome and every possible outcome was ‘fair game’? This is Chaos Theory. Chaos Theory is the study of dynamic systems that are highly dependent on their initial conditions (abarim). There are several systems so dependent on their initial conditions that even a rounding error in an equation will send it spiraling out of control – they are considered part of the Butterfly Effect (stsci). Systems that fall under the category of Chaos Theory and The Butterfly Effect are used to determine the behavior of a system over time. To create a model of the system we must know the exact initial conditions; however, if the values are even slightly off, the Butterfly Effect will occur and cause the system to go awry. Unfortunately, Mother Nature doesn’t work in whole, or even real numbers. This makes determining the exact initial conditions impossible. So then how can Chaos Theory use a principle that is entirely dependent on its initial conditions, when we cannot even determine said conditions? Chaos Theory itself is a relatively new term, however the ideas behind it date back to the 1800s. In the 1880s, Henri Poincaré was the first to come across chaotic systems during his research on the three-body problem (earthlink). The three-body problem is the problem of taking an initial set of data points, and then determining their motion over time. At the time, this three-body problem was being used to plot the motion of the planets, and other celestial bodies... ... middle of paper ... ...ttp://>. "HENRI POINCARE." United States Naval Academy | Home Page. USA Naval Academy, 10 Apr. 2011. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. . Heresiarch, Wile E. "Chaos Theory." Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, 09 Sept. 2009. Web. 09 Dec. 2011. . Maudlin, Tim, and Frank Artnzenius. "Time Travel and Modern Physics (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)." Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Standford University, 01 Jan. 2009. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. . Uittenbogaard, Arie. "Chaos Theory for Beginners; An Introduction." Quantum Mechanics, Chaos Theory and the Reliability of the Bible. Abarim, 05 June 2010. Web. 08 Dec. 2011. .
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