### chaos theory

(theory of systems highly sensitive to initial conditions)

**Chaos theory** is a mathematical field aimed at analyzing the behavior
of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.
A deterministic system can be chaotic in such a sense. Chaotic
behavior places a limit on the length of time for which predictions
can be made.

Applications include meteorology, physics, engineering, economics,
biology, and philosophy. In astrophysics, it can apply to orbital
mechanics when more than two bodies are involved.

For the purpose of the theory, an example of a phenomenon considered
non-chaotic is the shooting of a cannon, where a slight change in aim or
projectile speed causes a slight change in the path of the
projectile, and you can "zero in" on a target through repeated shots,
making adjustments. In contrast, a pin-ball machine is considered
chaotic since a very slight change in setting the ball in motion
can cause the ball's path to change dramatically after hitting
a few of the obstacles, and attempting to use fine adjustments
to produce predictable changes in the results is essentially useless.

(*mathematics,dynamical systems*)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory

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