Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity

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9781400062560: Deep Simplicity: Bringing Order to Chaos and Complexity

Over the past two decades, no field of scientific inquiry has had a more striking impact across a wide array of disciplines–from biology to physics, computing to meteorology–than that known as chaos and complexity, the study of complex systems. Now astrophysicist John Gribbin draws on his expertise to explore, in prose that communicates not only the wonder but the substance of cutting-edge science, the principles behind chaos and complexity. He reveals the remarkable ways these two revolutionary theories have been applied over the last twenty years to explain all sorts of phenomena–from weather patterns to mass extinctions.

Grounding these paradigm-shifting ideas in their historical context, Gribbin also traces their development from Newton to Darwin to Lorenz, Prigogine, and Lovelock, demonstrating how–far from overturning all that has gone before–chaos and complexity are the triumphant extensions of simple scientific laws. Ultimately, Gribbin illustrates how chaos and complexity permeate the universe on every scale, governing the evolution of life and galaxies alike.

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From the Inside Flap:

Why do traffic jams seem to happen for no apparent reason? Can major earthquakes be predicted? Why does the stock market have its ups and downs? How do species evolve? Where do galaxies come from? What is the origin of life on Earth? "What if all these questions had a single answer?
Over the past two decades, no field of scientific inquiry has had a more striking impact across a wide array of disciplines-from biology to physics, computing to meteorology-than that known as chaos and complexity, the study of complex systems. Now astrophysicist John Gribbin draws on his expertise to explore, in sparkling prose that communicates not only the wonder but the substance of cutting-edge science, the principles behind chaos and complexity. He reveals the remarkable ways these two revolutionary theories have been applied over the last twenty years to explain all sorts of phenomena-from weather patterns to mass extinctions.
Grounding these paradigm-shifting ideas in their historical context, Gribbin also traces their development from Newton to Darwin to Lorenz, Prigogine, and Lovelock, demonstrating how-far from overturning all that has gone before-chaos and complexity are the triumphant extensions of simple scientific laws. More astonishing, he shows how chaos and complexity permeate the universe on every scale, governing the evolution of life and galaxies alike. As profound as it is provocative, "Deep Simplicity takes us to the brink of understanding life itself.

About the Author:

JOHN GRIBBIN trained as an astrophysicist at Cambridge University and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex. His many books include In Search of Schrödinger’s Cat, Stardust, Schrödinger’s Kittens and The Search for Reality Fitzroy (with his wife, Mary Gribbin), Science: A History, and The Scientists.

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