|October 29, 1987|
|Media type||Print, e-book|
|LC Class||Q172.5.C45 G54 1987|
|Followed by||Nature's Chaos|
Chaos: Making a New Science is a debut non-fiction book by James Gleick that initially introduced the principles and early development of the chaos theory to the public. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in 1987, and was shortlisted for the Science Book Prize in 1989. The book was published on October 29, 1987 by Viking Books.
Being the first popular book about chaos theory, it describes the Mandelbrot set, Julia sets, and Lorenz attractors without using complicated mathematics. It portrays the efforts of dozens of scientists whose separate work contributed to the developing field. The text remains in print and is widely used as an introduction to the topic for the mathematical layperson. An enhanced ebook edition was released by Open Road Media in 2011, adding embedded video and hyperlinked notes.
Freeman Dyson critiqued the book for omitting the earlier work of Dame Mary L. Cartwright and J. E. Littlewood, which he credits as forming the foundation of chaos theory, but also praised it as a popular account.