The Strange New Science of Chaos

This is an old NOVA documentary from 1989 about the science behind “chaos”. According to the film, it is a new branch of science which makes surprising sense out of chaotic phenomena in nature, from the weather to brain waves.

Chaos theory is a branch of mathematics focusing on the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.

‘Chaos’ is an interdisciplinary theory stating that within the apparent randomness of chaotic complex systems, there are underlying patterns, constant feedback loops, repetition, self-similarity, fractals, self-organization, and reliance on programming at the initial point known as sensitive dependence on initial conditions.

Chaos theory concerns deterministic systems whose behavior can in principle be predicted. Chaotic systems are predictable for a while and then ‘appear’ to become random.

Guided by Don Wescott as our narrator, the film examines how the universe is being redefined and how even chaos could have rules of order to live by.

The Strange New Science of Chaos
  • Info
  • Release date1989
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Jeremy Taylor