Thursday, July 10, 2008

Chaos by James Gleick

Chaos is a popular science book by James Gleick which traces the development of chaos theory, a broad reaching scientific development impacting various disciplines.

Popular science writing can be broadly divided into four types.

1. Explaining scientific principles to layman in a language that he can understand.
2. Bringing out the 'human' aspects of science, the emotional ups and downs that a scientist goes through in making his discoveries.
3. Putting scientific discoveries in a historical perspective analysing the historical causes and effects that led to the discovery and beyond.
4. Analyzing the philosophy of science and how the scientific principle fits into the framework of philosophy.

The beauty of Gleick's writing is that he weaves all four types of writing into one text. The reader gets acquainted with a new kind of science, experiences the joys and sorrows of the scientists that worked at that science, understand why, historically, that science came into being when it did, and gets to mull about the philosophical implications of this new science.

I recommend this book for general reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thats right! Even I found it a very good book. Definitely recommended.