Edward Lorenz life and biography

Edward Lorenz picture, image, poster

Edward Lorenz biography

Date of birth : 1917-05-23
Date of death : 2008-04-16
Birthplace : West Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
Nationality : American
Category : Science and Technology
Last modified : 2011-12-19
Credited as : mathematician and meteorologist, pioneer of chaos theory, invented the term butterfly effect

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Edward Norton Lorenz (May 23, 1917 – April 16, 2008) was an American mathematician and meteorologist, and a pioneer of chaos theory. He discovered the strange attractor notion and coined the term butterfly effect.

In 1972, American meteorologist Edward Lorenz ran what he thought was exactly the same data through a computer program twice for double-checking, but to his surprise repeating the process led to two vastly different conclusions. Upon close re-examination he found a difference amounting to less than 1/10,000th of one percent in one aspect of the raw data, but that difference had reverberated to great consequences through the calculations.

From this he wrote a seminal paper explaining what he called the butterfly effect, the phenomenon whereby the slightest change at any point in a complex system can cause unexpectedly large effects elsewhere.

He also studied deterministic non-periodic flow, and discovered what is now called the Lorenz attraction, a method for examining the changing relationships in fluid flow in a system with three degrees of freedom which shows that the flow is chaotic, unpredictable, and never follows the same path twice.

1969 Carl Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, American Meteorological Society.
1973 Symons Memorial Gold Medal, Royal Meteorological Society.
1975 Fellow, National Academy of Sciences (U.S.A.).
1981 Member, Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters.
1983 Crafoord Prize, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
1984 Honorary Member, Royal Meteorological Society.
1989 Elliott Cresson Medal, The Franklin Institute
1991 Kyoto Prize for ‘… his boldest scientific achievement in discovering "deterministic chaos"
2004 Buys Ballot medal.
2004 Lomonosov Gold Medal

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