butterfly effectbutterfly effect
A phenomenon in which a small perturbation in the initial condition of a system results in large changes in later conditions. Such phenomena are common in complex dynamical systems and are studied in chaos theory.
Origin of butterfly effectFrom the idea that the tiny atmospheric changes caused by the flap of a butterfly's wings can ultimately have major effects on the course of the weather
(plural butterfly effects)
- The technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory.