butterfly effect love

butterfly effect


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A phenomenon in which a small perturbation in the initial condition of a system results in large changes in later conditions. Such phenomena are common in complex dynamical systems and are studied in chaos theory.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[From the idea that the tiny atmospheric changes caused by the flap of a butterfly's wings can ultimately have major effects on the course of the weather.]


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  • A principle of chaos theory observing the interconnectedness of all matter. Even the faintest vibrating particle has an effect on every other particle around it. Cumulatively the effect can be much more dramatic than when it began as the entire system gradually responds to the impetus, like the ripple in a pool of water, one element at a time.

    It is said that with one flap of a butterfly's wings, a city could experience a rainy day instead of sunshine. The 2004 film The Butterfly Effect illustrates the unexpected consequences of how a single action can radically change the future after its effects compound over a decade or more.

    December 26, 2006

  • Originally from the Ray Bradbury story, "A Sound of Thunder".

    December 28, 2006

  • My twitter feed says this term was coined by Edward Lorenz

    "Birthday (1917) of mathematician/ meteorologist Edward Lorenz. Chaos theory pioneer, coined term 'butterfly effect'"


    May 23, 2016