Nature is complex. It features a multitude of systems which, simple though they may be, are unpredictable in their behaviour, and seem not to be governed by the established deterministic laws of classical physics. For many years, scientists ignored such systems claiming that their unpredictability was a result of the limitations in the accuracy of measurements, or pure chance. Others even rejected them as unscientific. However, in the 1970s, a new theory evolved, which, if its supporters are right, explains the diversity we observe in nature and provides an accurate and scientific description of the unpredictable phenomena in question. This is known as “Chaos Theory”, and the purpose of this article is to provide an introduction to it together with fractals, the elaborate patterns which have become its emblem.
From sub-atomic to Universal, the range of scale tends towards infinity – in both directions. It could be argued that the small can be imagined as our minds can attempt to grapple with the concept of nothing and then it is only a case of imagining something getting infinitesimally closer to that limit. Yet with large scale we become stuck – viewing from or within a constricted radius of planet Earth it is difficult to put scale into perspective. We quickly lose our ability to compare the large with the larger which soon appear to be both insignificantly small in comparison to the larger still. This article helps rebalance scale. What you once thought big, you’ll think big no longer.
The IOP student science publication award will be launched in 2014 and will reward student journalists who produce a regular science publication, such as a newspaper or magazine, either in print or online. The award will be presented to the editor of a specific publication but will recognise all contributors to it. President of the […]
WIRED UK is launching a competition for school children aged 12-16 years old to win two tickets to WIRED 2013: Next Generation which is a one day event taking place in London on 19th October 2013 which will bring together innovators from the worlds of technology, science, the arts, and business to inspire, to educate […]