• RRP: £7.99
  • You Save: £3.00 (38%)
FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon with at least £10 of books.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Chaos: A Very Short Intro... has been added to your Basket
+ £2.80 UK delivery
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Expedited shipping available on this book. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Chaos: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) Paperback – 22 Feb 2007

3.8 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
£4.99
£2.14 £1.45
Promotion Message Amazon Students Members Get 10% Off 1 Promotion(s)

Note: This item is eligible for click and collect. Details
Pick up your parcel at a time and place that suits you.
  • Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
  • Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
How to order to an Amazon Pickup Location?
  1. Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
  2. Dispatch to this address when you check out
Learn more
£4.99 FREE Delivery in the UK on orders dispatched by Amazon with at least £10 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Amazon Students Members Get an Extra 10% Off Selected Books Here's how (terms and conditions apply)

Frequently Bought Together

  • Chaos: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • +
  • Complexity: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
  • +
  • Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
Total price: £16.37
Buy the selected items together

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.



Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; 1st ed. edition (22 Feb. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192853783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192853783
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 1 x 10.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,260 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

Leonard Smith's Chaos (part of the Oxford Very Short Introduction series) will give you the clearest (but not too painful idea) of the maths involved... There's a lot packed into this little book, and for such a technical exploration it's surprisingly readble and enjoyable - I really wanted to keep turning the pages. Smith also has some excellent words of wisdom about common misunderstandings of chaos theory... One of the best books so far in this useful and informative series. (popularscience.co.uk)

About the Author

Leonard Smith is Senior Research Fellow in Mathematics at the University of Oxford, where he lectures on nonlinear dynamical systems and chaos.


Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book aims to introduce the key concepts of chaos in a readable way, including no mathematics. The title is a bit misleading, since there are over 160 pages and the book covers some quite advanced concepts. Overall, the book attempts to cover too much material for a short introduction, and I feel that readers who are not already familiar with the topic will be left confused.

The first chapter leaps directly into the concepts of deterministic nonlinear systems and sensitive dependence, and includes a wide-ranging discussion of the work of scientists including Laplace, Newton, Franklin and Darwin.

The second chapter explains exponential growth nicely, with several examples. Chapter 3 introduces examples of dynamical systems and their associated concepts. Here, new concepts such as state space, fixed points and attractors arise very rapidly and I wonder whether they have time to sink in for the reader who is not already familiar with them. Some of the new concepts are not clearly defined.

Chapter 4, 'Chaos in mathematical models', describes the universal period-doubling cascade, the Lorenz system, the Henon map, delay equations and Hamiltonian chaos. Again, too many models are introduced too rapidly. Chapters 5 and 6 cover fractals, dimensions and Lyapunov exponents, the measures of chaos, and the book then moves on to real numbers on a computer, statistics, predictability, weather forecasts, climate change and finance, ending up with some philosophical remarks.

Although I quite enjoyed reading this book, I would not recommend it as an introduction to the subject.
2 Comments 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
The book introduces the chaos theory relatively in details (compared with "the quantum world" J.P which introduces the entire structure of quantum physics less than 90 pages). The chaos is a very new and popular theory. It is based on the dynamical system, or dating back further, integral by I.Newton. The book itself produces nothing extremely exciting but progressively, makes you learn a lot. I find it really helpful to scan the dynamical system part in my financial math textbook before reading it. My suggestion is that you understand some concepts on integral and dynamical system first. They may be rather naive compared with the chaos theory but they at least give you a basis to develop your thoughts.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was left with the sense that Mr Smith needs to get out of his office a little bit more often so he may appreciate better what lay people do or do not already know. I'm a graduate engineer with a strong mathematical back ground who has already studied chaos for a while and I struggled to understand the concepts he was trying to convey, even ones that I am already familiar with, from his text. As well as his explanations being unnecessarily hard to understand and rather abstract, I was left with the feeling that he had originally written a much longer text that someone else has badly edited leaving large holes in the logic and explanation just so as to make this a small enough book to fit with the short introduction requirement. As a result, what is left is confusing and off putting. In essence, Chaos is not hard to grasp and is fundamentally the study of nature. Unfortunately Mr Smith seems to have managed to achieve otherwise.

If you want a book that covers the subject in both more depth as well as gets across the concepts in a way that is understandable, and that will encourage an interest in the subject then consider Chaos: Making a New Science. If on the other hand you want to be confused and put off, this book will be just fine.
Comment 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
I found this little gem in a bookshop in Exeter. It is an excellent introduction to the subject, and although a short book it covers a lot of ground. It is clear and concise. Where Gleick's book covers the history of chaos theory without getting into very much depth, this book explains some of what underlies the pretty pictures.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
As others have pointed out, this is not an easy read. Explanations are often very compressed, and things are made more difficult by, first, the author's penchant for using metaphorical turns of phrase, and, second, his decision to rely largely on diagrams (not always very clearly reproduced) rather than introducing mathematical formulae. The emphasis is largely on chaos theory and prediction, though there is a shortish chapter on fractals. I would have preferred more maths, less metaphor, and a slightly slower pace with rather longer explanations, even if this meant reducing the coverage a bit. There were times when I could not follow what was being said (I have done some university-level maths and dealt extensively with statistics when I was working). Even for the lay reader, there are, though, some valuable messages, including about the difference between models and reality; the importance of "noise", that is observational uncertainties in data; and the ease with which one can make wrong deductions about whether or not a system is chaotic in the scientific/mathematical sense.
Comment 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book but not an easy one. It is amazing because it does not hide from asking deep question about chaos, which is a problem with many other popular science books. Smith takes a full blooded philosophical approach to what chaos means and what it means for prediction. He takes the reader through all of the steps needed to make his argument and shows how all of the discoveries of the last 40 years fit together.

This is difficult for a first read on the subject because of the terminology and some of the concepts that physicists and mathematicians take for granted. As someone on the edge of the field this did not cause me problems but for anyone from outside of science this is going to be challenging. For me everything suddenly became clear and this book made it clear what questions I should be asking about my own simulations and models. It has inspired me to take a new view of how to understand the world around us. It has put models, simulations and noise into a different perspective and created a whole new avenue of research for me.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse


Feedback