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  • Hello there future internet users, I've been Trace and I will hopefully still be him, and

  • this is probably still DNews.

  • We'll see.

  • You've probably heard about the Butterfly Effect -- usually explained by the idea that

  • a butterfly flaps it's wings in Brazil and causes a hurricane in Texas.

  • Premise ridiculous!

  • Of course they can't.

  • There are millions of butterflies, if every one caused the beginnings of a storm Earth

  • would be in chaos.

  • The thing is, that's not what the Butterfly Effect is about.

  • It's about how tiny changes in big systems, can have complex results.

  • Systems, in this case, could be anything from weather patterns, to how big groups of asteroids

  • move, or how lots of people interact.

  • For an example of a system: picture a Tilt-a-Whirl ride at a carnival.

  • If you don't know what that is: it's a rotating and shifting platform, with shell-like cars,

  • each rotating on a smaller circle, with people inside.

  • It has rules, and follows those rules rigidly: the platform rotates the same every time,

  • and the carts can only rotate around specific points

  • By analyzing this, you can see the butterfly effect in action.

  • If I sit alone in one of the tilt-a-whirl carts, it would spin completely differently

  • than if you sat in there with me, right?

  • Together we'd be heavier and so our cart would have a completely different ride!

  • Every spin would be completely different from taking the ride alone.

  • Now, imagine all the carts as part of a system.

  • With tiny changes to each: someone being a little lighter or heavier in one cart, someone

  • sitting forward on the seat or with their back on the wall...

  • These tiny variations affect the WHOLE Tilt-a-whirl system!

  • That's the butterfly effect -- which does have a scientific name: "sensitive dependence

  • on initial conditions."

  • This was originally discovered by an MIT mathematician and meteorologist Edward Lorenz, who was using

  • an old computer to calculate weather patterns.

  • He ran a simulation, and wanted to see it again.

  • The first time, he put in the data to six decimal places, but figured the second time

  • those tiny fractions of a degree wouldn't matter, so he only used three decimal places.

  • In the end, because he cut out a few fractions of a fraction, the whole simulation completely

  • changed.

  • It was unrecognizable!

  • And that's when the crap hit the counter.

  • At the time mathematicians thought, if you changed it a little at the start, it would

  • only change a little at the end.

  • It was logical, but these "systems" don't behave that way, and we needed new math to

  • understand why!

  • In walks: Chaos Theory.

  • Chaos Theory, by definition, deals with "complex systems whose behavior is highly sensitive

  • to slight changes in conditions."

  • It appears to be chaos, but it's actually governed by the same rules as everything else

  • in nature, physics, and the universe.

  • But because there are so many moving parts; it's impossible for us to comprehend them

  • all.

  • Imagine watching all the people get on a Tilt-a-Whirl and then guessing how every cart is going

  • to move

  • LOL.

  • Chaos Theory was groundbreaking when it was discovered, because it threw off classical

  • physics!

  • Isaac Newton's laws of nature -- equal and opposite reactions and such, were imagined

  • in a "clockwork universe," not one filled with apparent chaos.

  • Basically, if we understood the basic rules of the universe, we should understand everything

  • in the universe too, right?

  • Wrong.

  • Because even a tiny change in something with as many moving parts as the universe would

  • mean any assumptions we make would be astronomically wrong.

  • And that's super scary.

  • We went from grasping a good chunk of our universe, to who knows where.

  • But, the universe is not random, it's governed by RULES.

  • Rules which mathematicians have worked on understanding for centuries.

  • Take nature for example, it might seem random, but it's governed by rules, and that's why

  • it makes shapes like this.

  • These are called FRACTALS, and they show us how chaos is really order.

  • [pause] It's an infinitely complex, repeating pattern that appears chaotic at times, but

  • is actually ordered!

  • Chaos theory is an attempt to approximate and understand all the people getting on the

  • Tilt-a-whirl, and how the tilt-a-whirl will react to their actions; thus finding order

  • in the chaos.

  • The more we understand the math, the better handle we will have to predict how a complex

  • system will react to tiny changes.

  • The practical applications are huge from understanding the brain, to social interaction, to how gas

  • moves in our atmosphere.

  • A study in the Journal of Family Psychology followed 95 couples, attempting to predict

  • divorce rates using chaos theory math.

  • They were correct 87 percent of the time.

  • Turbulence and weather slash climate change models keep getting better with as we gather

  • more data, because we can harness that chaos math.

  • The rules that govern fluid dynamics are pretty well understood.

  • We get temperature, pressure, volume, and mass, we get solar energy and gaseous emissions,

  • and so on.

  • But, if somehow, a tiny bit of moisture, dust, heat or cold causes a cloud to form somewhere

  • we didn't expectthe whole system can be thrown off.

  • It's maddening.

  • Which is why the National Weather Service runs the same weather models again and again:

  • tweaking it each time -- eventually they getting an inkling of the true result.

  • So, when you think of the butterfly effect, what should you think of?

  • Understanding order from chaos.

  • The original model Lorenz was working on appeared to spit out chaos, until it was graphed

  • and then it looked like this: [show picture?]

  • It looks like a butterfly.

  • It didn't get it's name from an actual butterfly, but from the graph of chaos becoming order.

  • Which is pretty.

  • And Insane.

  • It's Pretty Insane.

  • To see how the butterfly effect could wreak havoc on a female police detective in 2016

  • after she discovers she can reach her estranged father over the airwaves and through the decades

  • in 1996 via ham radio.

  • Don't miss the Series Premiere of Frequency, Wednesday October 5th, at 9/8c only on The

  • CW.

  • If chaos is really just order, is anything in the universe truly random?!

  • Jules looked at it here.

  • Math was not my strong suit, but i find it super fascinating.

  • What about you guys? Let us know down in the comments.

Hello there future internet users, I've been Trace and I will hopefully still be him, and

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Is the Butterfly Effect Real?

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    joey joey posted on 2021/04/16
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