Galaxy Shapes

Galaxy Clusters


Butterfly Effect

Strange Attractors

Dark Matter



Einstein's Theory

Twin Paradox

Big Bang

Chaotic Inflation


















































Copyright (c)

Lori Gardi



Part I

Part II

Part III

Part IV








































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Butterfly Effect

Edward Norton Lorenz (May 23, 1917 - April 16, 2008) was an American mathematician and meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory. He discovered the strange attractor (which I will be talking about in a minute) and he coined the term butterfly effect (in 1961), a term that became popular because of a movie called “The Butterfly Effect” that came out in 2004.

Butterfly Effect, the concept, is also referred to as “sensitivity to initial conditions” in chaos theory. Small variations in the initial conditions of a dynamical system MAY produce large variations in the long-term behaviour of that system. This is why we can’t predict the weather (much past the 5 day forecast) and it also explains why it’s not a good idea to go back in time because if we are able to change even one little thing, when we go “back to the future” you might find that everything has changed.

The notion of the strange attractor, which Lorenz discovered while studying weather patterns, is a bit more complicated to describe but I will do my best to explain and to simplify.

Lorenz Attractor

Note the similarity between the Lorenz Attractor and a pair of supposedly colliding galaxies.