The Concepts of Chaos (#113)
The flapping of a butterfly's wings over Bermuda causes a rainstorm in Texas. Two sticks start side by side on the surface of a brook, only to follow divergent paths downstream. Both are examples of the phenomenon of chaos, characterized by a widely sensitive dependence of the future on slight changes in a system's initial conditions. This unit explores the mathematics of chaos, which involves the discovery of structure in what initially appears to be random, and imposes limits on predictability. [28 minutes]
This episode has not aired in the past few months on Iowa Public Television.
Series Description: Mathematics Illuminated explores major themes in the field of mathematics, from mankind's earliest study of prime numbers to the cutting edge mathematics used to reveal the shape of the universe.
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