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The Calculus of Friendship by Steven Strogatz

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Chaos (1992-95)

A dynamical system is anything that changes from moment to moment according to definite rules. For instance, a pendulum swinging back and forth obeys Newton’s laws of motion and the law of gravity. Using those rules and the techniques of calculus, physicists can add up all the moment-to-moment changes to deduce where the pendulum will be at any time and how fast it’ll be moving. The same is true for a planet orbiting the sun or a rocket flying to the moon. Other scientists have extended the reach of dynamical systems to describe the flow of traffic on the Internet, the fluctuations of wildlife populations, and the beating of the ...

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