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Modeling RealityHow Computers Mirror Life$
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Iwo Bialynicki-Birula and Iwona Bialynicka-Birula

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198531005

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198531005.001.0001

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The Lorenz butterfly

The Lorenz butterfly

Deterministic chaos

(p.65) 7 The Lorenz butterfly
Modeling Reality

Iwo Białynicki-Birula

Iwona Białynicka-Birula

Oxford University Press

Deterministic chaos sounds like an oxymoron but it is a well defined mathematical concept. Deterministic means that there are exact rules that govern the evolution and chaos here means only that it is impossible to predict the outcome in the long run. The key to the resolution of this paradox is the practical limitation that is always present in our ability to process information. For chaotic systems the resources needed to make a prediction grow extremely fast with the extent of time for which the prediction is to be valid.

Keywords:   deterministic chaos, paradox, Lorentz butterfly

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