What exactly is the butterfly effect, and what you do you think of it ?

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    The butterfly effect is a metaphor that encapsulates the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory; namely, a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere. Although this may appear to be an esoteric and unusual behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill might roll into any of several valleys depending on slight differences in initial position. The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with "what if" cases where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.
    The term "butterfly effect" itself is related to the work of Edward Lorenz, and it is based in chaos theory and sensitive dependence on initial conditions, already described in the literature in a particular case of the three-body problem by Henri Poincar? in 1890. He later proposed that such phenomena could be common, say in meteorology.


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    Great answer Roger! You give me new hope that this site will last. There really are some intelligent people out there.

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