Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who Propounded Chaos Theory ?Lorenz or Bose ?

Many of us now know that a 'chaos theory' was propounded by Professor Edward Lorenz who died at the aged of 90 on April 16th 2008 . Born on May 23rd 1917 in West Hartford, Connecticut and educated at Dartmouth College and Harvard University he proposed ' chaos theory' which caused an impact worldwide. Father of modern chaos theory he became a mid night celebrity with his talk entitled, “Predictability: Does the Flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado in Texas?But quite amazingly much before to it Jagdish Chandra Bose , Indian scientist wrote a story on a similar theme which is credited to be the first true science fiction story written in Bengali. Published in 1896 and entitled, “Palatak Toofan” [absconded tempest] the story described how a severe surge of the sea could be appeased by even a drop of oil and could save a ship.
In this backdrop if we look for Lorenz's thesis on how small actions could lead to major changes, what is now usually referred to as the "butterfly effect"it sounds almost similar to what was already proposed by J.C.Bose in his sf story in1986 . Much later , in the 1960s Lorenz mathematically derived the conclusion as that of Bose that small differences in a dynamic system such as the atmosphere could set off enormous changes.
If you are aware of J.C.Bose's contributions to the world of knowledge you could easily spot one sad aspect that he discovered wireless communication first but for the reasons not clear at least to me Marconi was credited for the epoch making invention.
Now it is the 'chaos theory' which is again going to be a sad saga for this Indian Scientist as the world knows today that it was propounded by Lorenz .Did Lorenz get clues from the work of J.C Bose ?Or might be that they both got inspiration from some other source not known to us till date.A deeper quest is still required to finally reach to any conclusion.Had I not read the contents of Bose's sf story and then the Lorenz's contributions in his obituary postings on the net almost simultaneously the strange semblances could have never dawn on me.
I am posting this to attract the attention of world intelligentsia to thrash out the matter to do justice albeit posthumously to a Great Indian scientist.