SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Henon mapping of a Chaotic system. Chaos theory is used to predict the development of large-scale events from any given starting point. Although useful, the presence of multiple influences on a system and the problems of identifying an initial starting point limit the use of conventional calculating techniques. An example is weather forecasting: although the thermodynamics that apply to the atmosphere are well known, there is insufficient computing power available to accurately account for all influencing factors, and no initial condition for the Earth's atmosphere is known.
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