Is there Order in the Universe

Is there Order in the Universe? How do we explain it?
Is there order in the universe? Scientific thought took a new turn when Isaac Newton discovered that the laws which account for a falling apple and those that describe the moon's orbiting the earth were one and the same. Ever since he discovered and formulated the laws that govern motion in our universe, scientists have assumed that the universe runs like a clock, explained by a few simple laws. Scientists described what seemed like complicated systems in terms of comparatively simple equations. They thought that they could look at the world, figure out how it works, write an equation to describe it, then plug in any numbers and be able to predict any outcome. Some scientists have thought that they would eventually discover how to describe everything in the universe in simple, mathematical terms. Some have even thought they would find one set of equations that describes how the entire universe formed and operates—a 'theory of everything'.

Is there Order in the Universe? Unexplained Phenomena
But even as scientists figure out equations for more and more of the universe's systems, they are continually baffled by unexplained phenomena and systems that seem to act against the laws they have set forth to explain these actions. Wobbles in the orbits of planets, turbulence in the airflow patterns of a plane's wing, the changing size of animal populations-every once in a while these systems and others fail to conform to the simple equations scientists have worked out for them.

These unexplained phenomena have aroused the curiosity of the scientific community. Scientists are finding chaos where they thought they would find order. But then, looking more closely, they are finding unexplained order in what looked like chaos. With the development of faster, more powerful computers, they have been able to test equations they have been relying on for years. They have found that, under certain conditions, some of these equations produce 'chaotic' results. Then they realized that these systems that seemed to be so disordered were actually following strange and intricate patterns.

Read More Now: Second Law of Thermodynamics

Excerpts from "Order or Chaos" by Martha Blakefield, Copyright 1998.

Facebook   YouTube   Twitter   Google+   RSS Feed