Ignoring Chaos

Ignoring Chaos correspondence J. B. Eisner and J. C. Honore Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida It is now well recognized that chaos theory is an the "nontreatment of chaos." Perhaps the most popu- important contribution to the understanding of nature. lar explanation for a delayed interest in chaos theory Indeed, the burden of proof even seems to be shifting, is that it had to wait for the digital computer (Franks requiring better justifications for any assumption that 1989). Upon further scrutiny, however, the computer small initial errors will remain small into the future. explanation falls short of a full account of the Chaos theory is barely 30 years old, and interest in it nontreatment of chaos, with the primary reason being continues to grow. But why did it take so long for chaos the availability of analog computers decades before theory to be accepted? the accessibility of their digital cousins. Of course, the The impact of Edward Lorenz's seminal work on advent of digital computers played a critical role in chaos theory is examined by counting citations from the final scientific surrender to the nonlinear world, the Science Citation Index (Institute of Scientific Infor- but what factors http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society American Meteorological Society

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Publisher
American Meteorological Society
Copyright
Copyright © American Meteorological Society
ISSN
1520-0477
D.O.I.
10.1175/1520-0477-75.10.1846
Publisher site
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Abstract

correspondence J. B. Eisner and J. C. Honore Department of Meteorology, The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida It is now well recognized that chaos theory is an the "nontreatment of chaos." Perhaps the most popu- important contribution to the understanding of nature. lar explanation for a delayed interest in chaos theory Indeed, the burden of proof even seems to be shifting, is that it had to wait for the digital computer (Franks requiring better justifications for any assumption that 1989). Upon further scrutiny, however, the computer small initial errors will remain small into the future. explanation falls short of a full account of the Chaos theory is barely 30 years old, and interest in it nontreatment of chaos, with the primary reason being continues to grow. But why did it take so long for chaos the availability of analog computers decades before theory to be accepted? the accessibility of their digital cousins. Of course, the The impact of Edward Lorenz's seminal work on advent of digital computers played a critical role in chaos theory is examined by counting citations from the final scientific surrender to the nonlinear world, the Science Citation Index (Institute of Scientific Infor- but what factors

Journal

Bulletin of the American Meteorological SocietyAmerican Meteorological Society

Published: Oct 19, 1994

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