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Hardcover Chaos in Wonderland : Visual Adventures in a Fractal World Book

ISBN: 0312107439

ISBN13: 9780312107437

Chaos in Wonderland : Visual Adventures in a Fractal World

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. Describing the biology, sociology, and technology of the fictional Latoocarfian civilization of Ganymede, one of Jupiter's moons, this book includes a cornucopia of curiosities--games played on...

Customer Reviews

3 ratings

A brilliant fusion of science and fiction. Unique. Grade: A+

Forget Heinlein. Say goodbye to Azimov. Break it off with Bradbury. This is the real stuff._Chaos is Wonderland_ is really three books in one, each with a different style and purpose. Part I, titled "The Latööcarfian Civilization," introduces the reader to an ancient race of mathematicians that just happens to live in the ice beneath Ganymede (one of Jupiter's moons). It reads a little like a textbook, but Pickover is just setting the stage for a far grander work. A rather dull paragraph in Section 2.1 merely sets the stage: "Far from the bright twinkling city lights and the chaotic world of humans, lives a shy, sentient race of creatures known as the Latööcarfians. Their home is Ganymede, a moon of planet Jupiter. Ganymede (radius 2,635 km / 1,636 mi) is the largest and brightest member of the Jovian family of moons. In fact, Ganymede is one of the largest satellites in the Solar System, rivalled only by Neptune's Triton, and Saturn's Titan. Ganymede has a rock and ice crust approximately 100 km thick, with a covering mantel of water or soft ice about 600 km thick. The icy surface has become dirty with age" (5).This may not sound like easy - or even worthwhile - reading, but Pickover quickly moves to the anatomy and culture of the ice-dwelling Latööcarfians, whose gallium-arsenide biology allows them to display intricate patterns of light on their foreheads. These patterns are based on complex, chaos-theory equations: dynamical systems, Lorenz attractors, and strange attractors are thrown around and even graphed. It's no big deal if the math is beyond you (as it is beyond me) - the audacity of Pickover's ideas is what really moves the text. Loaded with photos of Jupiter and its moons, cartographic maps, and anatomical illustrations, one could easily believe that Part I is a textbook from the 25th century.Part II, "The Dream-Weavers of Ganymede," is a swashbuckling space opera that explores all of the ideas set forth in Part I... and more. It follows the adventures of Garth and Kalinda as they explore Ganymede and run afoul of fractal spiders, brain parasites, slug- and mole-people, glass girls, and - of course - the Latööcarfians themselves. It will never be considered high literature, but it is corny fun, and chock-full of hard science. Part III is a set of appendices, but it is worth your time. Here you will find computer programs to recreate some of the fractal patterns shown in the book, fractal games that you can build and play, "the 100 strangest mathematical titles ever published," a treatise on communicating with aliens via math, "the 15 most famous transcendental numbers," methods on how to calculate pi, and suggestions for further reading. And more! Find out the true identity of the Celestial Police, read bibliographies of mathematics in science-fiction and computers in science-fiction, plumb the secrets of the ten formulas that changed the face of the world... And more!Last word: this amazing book is like a small library. If you like

Very creative and educational

The beautiful images and creative ideas set this book apart from most others on the subject of fractals, chaos, and computer art. There are endless ideas for experimentation. An excellent and fun introduction to chaos for a wide variety of readers. You will really understand the concept of Lyapunov exponenent after you read this strange tale.

Strange, educational, beautiful!

A strange and beautiful journey through fractals, chaos, and science fiction. Filled with incredible illustrations.
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