Research, Technology

Dive into chaos theory - unpredictability and the butterfly effect

Who among us has not dreamed of time travel?For example, about a journey into the past - to save someone from a fatal mistake, collect evidence of unsolved crimes and finally see how our distant ancestors lived in the African savannah. This topic is so popular that only the lazy will refuse it in Hollywood. Researchers, however, argue that the world is not behaving neatly and orderly. If this were the case, identical events would always lead to the same patterns of "side effects", and the future would be completely predictable and even a foregone conclusion. Fortunately, chaos theory claims the opposite and complete coincidence is not about us either. We exist somewhere in the middle, in a world that often seems random, but in fact obeys certain rules and laws. According to chaos theory, the slightest change can lead to radical consequences in the future - in a different place and at a different time.

Can you go back in time, change it, and come back?

Chaos theory says that small changes have big consequences.

Chaos theory

In the 1970s, an American mathematician andMeteorologist Edward Lorenz not only discovered chaos (which was a random event) but also identified its key mechanism, noting a strange property - the repetition (building a trajectory over time) of any two nearby points leads to their separation.

Basically, chaos is the science of surprises, ohnonlinearity and unpredictability. While most scientific fields deal with supposedly predictable phenomena such as gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, chaos theory is the virtual impossibility of predicting or controlling, such as turbulence, weather, economics, brain health, and so on.

Our world is infinitely complex

These phenomena are often described using fractal mathematicsthat reflects the endless complexity of nature.Many natural objects have fractal properties, including clouds, trees, and rivers, but many of the systems we live in exhibit complex, chaotic behavior.

Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of ourthe world can give us his new understanding. Chaos is not just a mess. He examines the transitions between order and disorder, which often occur in surprising ways.

Chaos principles

One of the chaos principles proposed by Lorentz isthe same butterfly effect. If a butterfly flaps its wings in Russia, it could lead to a hurricane somewhere in New Mexico. I agree, it sounds like complete nonsense, but this connection is real. If the butterfly had not flapped its wings at the right point in space / time, the hurricane would not have happened.

Another principle is that smallchanges in the initial conditions lead to dramatic changes in the results. In the end, our life is a constant demonstration of this principle. Who knows what the long-term implications of teaching millions of children about chaos and fractals will be?

Fractals Are infinitely complex patterns thatare created by repeating a simple process over and over in a continuous feedback loop. Driven by recursion, fractals are images of dynamical systems - pictures of Chaos. Geometrically, they exist between our usual dimensions.

At the micro level, everything happens differently.

It is important to understand that patterns within chaoshidden, as they are very sensitive to any, even the smallest, changes. This means that similar but not identical situations can lead to completely different results. Another way is that in a chaotic world, the consequences can be completely disproportionate to their causes. And although the rules are deterministic, the future is unpredictable in the long run.

Because chaos is so sensitive to smallchange, there are an almost infinite number of ways that follow the rules, and we need to know an incredible amount of details about the present and the past in order to determine exactly how the world will develop.

Chaos theory states that small changes can have consequences. But one of the central concepts of the theory is the impossibility of accurately predicting the state of the system.

A fractal, from a mathematical point of view, is, first of all, a set with a fractional, intermediate, “not whole” dimension.

This is interesting: Is it possible to believe the weather forecasts?

Likewise, we cannot reverse engineersome of the information about the past, just by knowing the current and even future situations. At the same time, time travel does not help restore past information, since even when moving back in time the chaotic system is still in play and leads to unpredictable consequences.

And although the butterfly effect is classicIn a poetic metaphor illustrating chaos theory, chaotic dynamics also appear in real-world contexts, including the growing population of tigers and the rotation of Pluto's moons. Wonders.

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Is there a butterfly effect?

So, since we cannot know all the initialconditions of a complex system in sufficient (i.e. perfect) detailing, we also cannot hope to predict the final fate of this very system. However, the results of a quantum physics study by Los Alamos National Laboratory have shown that the so-called butterfly effect can be overcome in the quantum realm to "decode" lost information, essentially turning back time.

Of course, the butterfly effect "looks great" intime travel theories, but a study published in Physical Review Letters showed that there was no evidence for the butterfly effect in quantum mechanics.

The laws of the quantum world are very different from those that we can directly observe

As the authors of the scientific work write, the mentalan experiment to 'decipher' information using time-reversing operations “is expected to produce the same butterfly effect as in Ray Bradbury's famous short story, Thunder Came - a time traveler steps on an insect in the distant past, but returns back realizes that the world has completely changed.

More on the topic: Computer simulation has proven there is no butterfly effect

But as the researchers found out the quantum systemcan effectively heal and even restore information that has been encrypted in the past - without the need for chaos and the butterfly effect. Using computer simulations, the study authors found that during time travel the world remains the same, which means that the butterfly effect does not exist in quantum mechanics.

Time travel requires changing the past- even a simple addition of a time traveler, the researchers note. Moreover, the concept of chaos in classical physics and in quantum mechanics must be understood in different ways.

The term "butterfly effect" was coined in 1972

It should be noted that the results of one moreinteresting research that states that time travel is possible at the quantum level. You can read more about the results here. And, of course, subscribe to our news channel in Telegram - so you will always be aware of the latest events from the world of science and high technologies!