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.
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- We see that each surface is really a pair of surfaces, so that, where they appear to merge, there are really four surfaces. Continuing this process for another circuit, we see that there are really eight surfaces etc and we finally conclude that there is an infinite complex of surfaces, each extremely close to one or the other of two merging surfaces.
- Lorenz (1963) "Deterministic nonperiodic flow", in: J. Atmos. Sci. 20, 130–141. cited in: T.N. Palmer (2008) "Edward Norton Lorenz. 23 May 1917 −− 16 April 2008" in: Biogr. Mems Fell. R. Soc. 2009 55, 139-155
- Mathematicians seem to have no difficulty in creating new concepts faster than the old ones become well understood, and there will undoubtedly always be many challenging problems to solve. nevertheless, I believed that some of the unsolved meteorological problems were more fundamental, and I felt confident that I could contribute to some of their solutions.
- Lorentz (1991) "A scientist by choice". Speech by acceptance of the Kyoto Prize in 1991, cited in: Kerry Emanuel (2009) [http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/lorenz-edward.pdf Edward Norton Lorenz 1917-2008. National Academy of Sciences Biographical Memoir.
- By showing that certain deterministic systems have formal predictability limits, Ed put the last nail in the coffin of the Cartesian universe and fomented what some have called the third scientific revolution of the 20th century, following on the heels of relativity and quantum physics... He was also a perfect gentleman, and through his intelligence, integrity and humility set a very high standard for his and succeeding generations.