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Ruelle D. Chance and Chaos
Princeton University Press, 1991. - 214 pages.

How do scientists look at chance, or randomness, and chaos in physical systems? In answering this question for a general audience, Ruelle writes in the best French tradition: he has produced an authoritative and elegant book--a model of clarity, succinctness, and a humor bordering at times on the sardonic.

"Chance has its reason, " says Petronius, but we may ask: what reason? and what is chance? how does chance arise? how unpredictable is the future? Physics and mathematics give some answers to these questions. The answers are modest and sometimes tentative, but worth knowing, and they are the subject of this book.
The laws of physics are deterministic. How can chance then enter the description of the universe? In several ways, as will tu out. And we shall also see that there are severe limitations on the predictability of the future. My presentation of the various aspects of chance and unpredictability will mostly follow accepted (or acceptable) scientific ideas, old and new. In particular, I shall discuss in some detail the mode ideas of chaos. The style adopted is definitely nontechnical, and the few equations that will be found in this book can be ignored without much disadvantage. High-school physics and mathematics are, in principle, all that is required to understand the main text that follows. I have, however, been less restrained in the endnotes: they range from nontechnical remarks to very technical references aimed at my professional colleagues.
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