the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago
The technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an esoteric and unlikely behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill may roll into any of several valleys depending on, among other things, slight differences in initial position. The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with hypotheses where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.
The numerical value of butterfly effect in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of butterfly effect in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
Never underestimate the powers and prowess of your small efforts. Think of the "Butterfly Effect", which underscores the fact that even a tiny butterfly stirring the calm air in California can transform severe storm systems next month in Korea.
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Translations for butterfly effect
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- το φαινόμενο της πεταλούδαςGreek
- efecto mariposaSpanish
- effet papillonFrench
- efek kupu-kupuIndonesian
- effetto farfallaItalian
- papilio effectusLatin
- vlinder effectDutch
- efekt motylaPolish
- efeito borboletaPortuguese
- hiệu ứng cánh bướmVietnamese
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"butterfly effect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 28 May 2017. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/butterfly effect>.