image credit: Paul Bourke, University of Western Australia; image source;
To learn more about the Lorentz attractor and chaos, visit An Introduction to Chaos.
Chaos and Fractals
Serious study of chaos began with Edward Lorenz's simplified three-equation model of the atmosphere. Visit Chaos and Fractals for a brief overview of chaos theory, including how Lorenz discovered "sensitive dependence on initial conditions", also known as "the butterfly effect." When he discovered this, he knew that long-range weather forecasting would never succeed.
(This feature was updated on September 2, 2013.)