The Lorenz Attractor
Early in the 1960s Edward Lorenz, an MIT meteorologist exploring atmospheric convection, described one of the first know chaotic systems and gave birth to a new metaphorical language. Although he was not the first to talk about the flapping wings of butterflies or birds, he was the first to outline the sensitivity of systems on initial conditions. Before Lorenz, we thought that small changes in systems would only produce small effects. Lorenz described a new view of the natural world in which almost random outcomes could result from tiny influences, paving the way for the full development of Chaos theory.