Feigenbaum, Mitchell J. Department of Physics, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.
Last reviewed:August 2019
- Qualitative behavior
- Quantitative behavior
- Universality of the scenario
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A scenario for the transition of a natural process from regular motion to chaos. Various natural processes develop in time in a way that depends upon prevailing environmental details. A quantity that specifies the particular state of the environment of a process is called a parameter, and is taken as a fixed value over the course of development of the process. It is a frequent natural occurrence for a process to have a regular and easily describable motion for some range of parameters, but to have complex, irregular, and difficult-to-describe motions for other ranges of parameters. In the context of fluid flow, the latter circumstance is termed turbulence. In a more general context it is called chaos (which includes fluid turbulence but presages an underlying generality). See also: Turbulent flow
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