Chaos Theory Tamed

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Garnett P. Williams

Garnett P. Williams US Geological Survey (Ret.)

JOSEPH HENRY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1997


2101 Constitution Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20418

The JOSEPH HENRY PRESS, an imprint of the NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS, was created by the National Academy of Sciences and its affiliated institutions with the goal of making books on science, technology, and health more widely available to professionals and the public. Joseph Henry was one of the founders of the National Academy of Sciences and a leader of early American science.

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Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 97-73862 International Standard Book Number 0-309-06351-5

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Copyright © 1997 Garnett P. Williams. All rights reserved.

Published by arrangement with Taylor & Francis Ltd.

Reprinted 1999

Printed in Great Britain.


Virtually every branch of the sciences, engineering, economics, and related fields now discusses or refers to chaos. James Gleick’s 1987 book, Chaos: making a new science and a 1988 one-hour television program on chaos aroused many people’s curiosity and interest. There are now quite a few books on the subject. Anyone writing yet another book, on any topic, inevitably goes through the routine of justifying it. My justification consists of two reasons:

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