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 The Butterfly Effect

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giand amazone

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PostSubject: The Butterfly Effect   Tue Nov 24, 2009 7:46 pm

The Butterfly effect

The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory. Small variations of the initial condition of a dynamical system may produce large variations in the long term behavior of the system. This is sometimes presented as esoteric behavior, but can be exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. Quantum chaos is the study of the butterfly effect in semiclassical physics and quantum mechanics.

It is a common subject in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with "what if" scenarios where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.


Recurrence, the approximate return of a system towards its initial conditions, together with sensitive dependence on initial conditions are the two main ingredients for chaotic motion. They have the practical consequence of making complex systems, such as the weather, difficult to predict past a certain time range (approximately a week in the case of weather), since it is impossible to measure the starting atmospheric conditions completely accurately.

Origin of the concept and the term

The term "butterfly effect" itself is related to the work of Edward Lorenz, and is based in chaos theory and sensitive dependence on initial conditions, first described in the literature by Jacques Hadamard in 1890[1] and popularized by Pierre Duhem's 1906 book. The idea that one butterfly could eventually have a far-reaching ripple effect on subsequent historic events seems first to have appeared in a 1952 short story by Ray Bradbury about time travel (see Literature and print here) although Lorenz made the term popular. In 1961, Lorenz was using a numerical computer model to rerun a weather prediction, when, as a shortcut on a number in the sequence, he entered the decimal .506 instead of entering the full .506127 the computer would hold. The result was a completely different weather scenario.[2] Lorenz published his findings in a 1963 paper for the New York Academy of Sciences noting that "One meteorologist remarked that if the theory were correct, one flap of a seagull's wings could change the course of weather forever." Later speeches and papers by Lorenz used the more poetic butterfly. According to Lorenz, upon failing to provide a title for a talk he was to present at the 139th meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1972, Philip Merilees concocted Does the flap of a butterfly wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas as a title.

Although a butterfly flapping its wings has remained constant in the expression of this concept, the location of the butterfly, the consequences, and the location of the consequences have varied widely.

The phrase refers to the idea that a butterfly's wings might create tiny changes in the atmosphere that may ultimately alter the path of a tornado or delay, accelerate or even prevent the occurrence of a tornado in a certain location. The flapping wing represents a small change in the initial condition of the system, which causes a chain of events leading to large-scale alterations of events. Had the butterfly not flapped its wings, the trajectory of the system might have been vastly different. While the butterfly does not "cause" the tornado in the sense of providing the energy for the tornado, it does "cause" it in the sense that the flap of its wings is an essential part of the initial conditions resulting in a tornado, and without that flap that particular tornado would not have existed.
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Andy Plan
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King of the Spammers

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PostSubject: Re: The Butterfly Effect   Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:12 am

I like the video, watched it on youtube. But some comments are real crazy like:
- So we helped the miner to get rid of pirates and then when his friends arrived we get rid of them also... JUst because we are in game for more then 6 years and we can do so! Smile

As for the butterfly effect itself - I remember the movie "A Sound of Thunder (2005)" - yes not a classic movie, but in this one we have the real butterfly shown as one of the reasons lead do dramatic changes in future. Laughing
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Daec Raban

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PostSubject: Re: The Butterfly Effect   Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:49 am

Actually....this was the video leading me to try out eve!
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The Butterfly Effect
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