the butterfly effect


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the butterfly effect

The idea that a small change, action, or event can cause much larger one elsewhere or in the future through a chain reaction. An allusion to chaos theory, popularized by the notion that a butterfly flapping its wings in one part of the world might cause a tornado many miles away. It was basically the butterfly effect that led me to this life: My haphazard decision to study Irish literature in college in Canada led me to do a master's degree in Dublin, which led me to an internship for an Irish publisher, which led me to be friends with a co-worker there, who introduced me to the woman who would eventually be my wife. The government's decision to deregulate the market created a butterfly effect that eventually produced the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression.
See also: butterfly, effect

the butterfly effect

the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere.
The expression comes from chaos theory. In 1979 , Edward N. Lorenz gave a paper to the American Association for the Advancement of Science entitled ‘Does the flap of a butterfly's wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?’
See also: butterfly, effect
References in periodicals archive ?
"For Mencap Cymru, The Butterfly Effect, BIRT Ty Aberdafen which is a brain injury group from Llanelli, and Heol Goffa it's an opportunity to learn new skills and develop skills.
Research on crack formation in teeth with the butterfly effect is lacking, and its potential clinical relevance warrants investigation.
He gave an explanation of what the Butterfly Effect of Golf does for the community and introduced each guest speaker.
In order to discuss the butterfly effect of a black hole, one should construct the shock wave geometry in the Kruskal coordinate firstly.
Often in the enthusiasm to improve our lives, we perhaps don't always see the butterfly effects, but they're there nonetheless - along with a price to pay.
Unlike other education programs run by NGOs, The Butterfly Effect teaches children to create different projects through computer programming, while also integrating basic lessons in core subjects.
Left, Laura holding a knitted caterpillar as part of The Butterfly Effect campaign
The most commented-upon aspect of the butterfly effect is the following: the slightest modification brought in an unlinear system (with so many variables, that its behaviour becomes unpredictable for us) has consequences incommensurate with the cause.
The Butterfly Effect ITV2 10pm Compelling sci-fi thriller, starring Ashton Kutcher.
This theory is commonly called the butterfly effect. Edward Lorentz the inventor of the theory states that a butterfly flapping its wings in China can create storm systems in places as far away as the United States, African or Europe!
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT 10pm, ITV2 A college student discovers that he can travel back in time to his troubled childhood and change future events for himself and his friends - but his constant meddling in the course of history leads to unforeseen consequences when he once again returns to the present day.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT (ITV2, Wednesday, 10pm) A STUDENT finds the journals he kept during his troubled childhood and discovers that by reading them, he has the ability to go back in time.
'The Butterfly Effect' star totally supports Kunis in her plan for a natural birth, and the duo is even planning to move to a new home so that they have more space and security for the baby, the insider said.
The butterfly effect is a commonly referenced example where the formation of a hurricane might be caused by a butterfly flapping its wings in a distant location at some earlier time.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect links the formation of a hurricane to a butterfly having fluttered its wings weeks before.