Sign in for exclusive products and special discounts.
A New Biography for Mathematicians and Historians Both!
Edward Lorenz is one of those people whose name you probably don’t know but whose work you almost certainly do. If you’ve ever heard of “the Butterfly Effect,” then you’ve heard the term that was coined for Lorenz’s discovery when he was trying to find a way to predict the weather. He began by working for the U.S. military during World War II, trying to forecast atmospheric conditions for flying bombers. At the time, everyone thought that weather prediction was something we’d be able to do well into the future. Lorenz’s work shattered that idea forever. But the result ultimately led to one of the twentieth century’s most important discoveries in mathematics and physical science: chaos theory.
Since then, the concept of the Butterfly Effect (the idea that tiny changes in a system can dramatically affect the course of much larger events) has been popularized, but people often misunderstand exactly what it is and what it means. This book explains it—for amateurs and math whizzes alike—within the story of the remarkable man who discovered it. There’s even a “Doing the Math” section in the back for kids to give the math a try themselves!
Don’t miss this fascinating read! Edward Lorenz and the Chaotic Butterflies completes the set of Mathematical Lives biographical novels. Each one is a wonderful introduction to the people behind the math that we take for granted today.