Talk:Butterfly effect

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Henri Poincaré Prediction on Metereology's relation w/ Chaos Theory[edit]

Hello all, I am not a usual participant in editing Wikipedia, but I thought I'd help citing the claim that Poincaré did in fact foresee the relation which Lorenz proved in the 60s.

“A very small unknown cause determines a considerable effect which we cannot understand. We therefore say that the effect is due to chance. If we knew exactly the laws of nature and the situation of the universe at the initial moment, we could predict exactly the situation of that same universe at a succeeding moment. but even if it were the case that the natural laws had no longer any secret for us, we could still only know the initial situation approximately. If that enabled us to predict the succeeding situation with the same approximation, that is all we require, and we should say that the phenomenon had been predicted, that it is governed by laws. But it is not always so; it may happen that small differences in the initial conditions produce very great ones in the final phenomena. A small error in the former will produce an enormous error in the latter. Prediction becomes impossible, and we have the fortuitous phenomenon.”

"Why do meteorologists have such a hard time in foreseeing the weather with a reasonable degree of precision? Why do showers and storms seem to occur at random, so that many people find it absolutely natural to pray for rain or good weather while they would praying for an eclipse utterly ridiculous? We see that great perturbations generally occur in regions where the atmosphere is unstable. Meteorologists are well aware of the instability of the equilibrium and that somewhere there will be a hurricane, but where? They cannot tell, because a tenth of a degree more or less at any point will determine a hurricane here instead of there, and there will be devastations in areas that would have been spared. If one had known this tenth of a degree one could have foreseen the event, but observations were neither sufficiently frequent nor sufficiently precise, and for this reason everything seems to be due to the intervention of hazard. "

Poincaré Science et méthode 1903

I really hope I helped!

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The real source of the term, "butterfly effect."[edit]

The source of the "butterfly effect" is not some chaos theorist/weatherman in the 1980s. The source is Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Sound of Thunder," first published in 1952. I have added that story to the Further Reading list for this article. If you can't find a copy of the story, read the Wikipedia entry for it at Wpbrown46 (talk) 06:01, 10 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unfortunately, Dr. Lorenz has passed away so, unless he told someone, or wrote it down, we will not know whether Bradbury's story inspired him to call it "butterfly effect" instead of "bumblebee effect" or something else entirely. Also, 1980s in the OP should be 1960s Wpbrown46 (talk) 06:11, 10 July 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Excuse me, does someone know whether Kelvin should be actually credited for “mosquito effect” or is it a misinterpretation? Because, as correctly pointed out by a user (last change), the question is dodgy. But I also found this source from an official physics journal, which points to Kelvin: In any case, it shows that butterfly effect was already devised in 1903 … — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:38, 23 December 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]