Mastering Chaos; August 1993; Scientific American Magazine; by William L. Ditto and Louis M. Pecora; 7 Page(s)
What good is chaos? Some would say it is unreliable, uncontrollable and therefore unusable. Indeed, no one can ever predict exactly how a chaotic system will behave over long periods. For that reason, engineers have typically dealt with chaos in just one way: they have avoided it. We find that strategy somewhat shortsighted. Within the past few years we and our colleagues have demonstrated that chaos is manageable, exploitable and even invaluable.
Chaos has already been applied to increase the power of lasers, synchronize the output of electronic circuits, control oscillations in chemical reactions, stabilize the erratic beat of unhealthy animal hearts and encode electronic messages for secure communications. We anticipate that in the near future engineers will no longer shun chaos but will embrace it.