Definitions for butterfly effect
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word butterfly effect
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.
Translations for butterfly effect
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
Get even more translations for butterfly effect »
Find a translation for the butterfly effect definition in other languages:
Select another language:
Discuss these butterfly effect definitions with the community:
Word of the Day
Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?
Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:
"butterfly effect." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2015. Web. 19 Apr. 2015. <http://www.definitions.net/definition/butterfly effect>.