Fundamental Chaos

dynamical systems

Typically the errors in these ordinary dynamical systems grow in proportion to time (i.e. linearly). By contrast, in a chaotic system the errors grow at an escalating rate; in fact, they grow exponentially with time. The randomness of chaotic motion is therefore fundamental, not merely the result of our ignorance. Gathering more information about the system will not eliminate it. Whereas in an ordinary system like the solar system the calculation keep well ahead of the action, in a chaotic system more and more information must be processed to maintain the same level of accuracy, and the calculation can barely keep pace with actual events. In other words, all power of prediction is lost. The conclusion is that the system itself is its own fastest computer.


– Paul Davies (1987, p 54). The Cosmic Blueprint





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