Chaotic dynamics (known popularly as chaos theory) is a fascinating new field in modern science, revolutionising understanding of order and pattern in nature. Symmetry, a higher spectrum of mathematics, would seem to lie at the opposite end of the spectrum. In Symmetry in Chaos, mathematicians Michael Field and Martin Golubitsky offer a look at where these two fields meet. In the process, they have generated mathematically a series of stunning computer images linking symmetry and chaos.
Field and Golubitsky describe how a chaotic process eventually can lead to symmetric patterns (in a river, for instance, photographs of the turbulent movement of eddies, taken over time, often reveal patterns on average) and they provide clear explanations of the science that lies behind the generation of these pictures. And the images they generate are spectacular. Indeed, through comparisons with pictures from nature, such as sea shells and flowers, and decorative designs ranging from Islamic motifs to contemporary graphic logos, the authors highlight the familiar yet unusual nature of these mysterious pictures.
Finally, the book features an appendix containing several BASIC programs, which will enable home computer owners to experiment with similar images.
This lavishly illustrated, oversized volume offers both a fascinating glimpse of the frontier of modern science and a stunning collection of remarkable images.
Condition is very good with some minor signs of shelf wear and some bumps to the cover edge.