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Edward Norton Lorenz American mathematician and meteorologist

Edward Lorenz: American Mathematician and Meteorologist

Edward Norton Lorenz was an MIT meteorologist, an American Mathematician who explained how important it is to make good weather forecasts and unleashed a scientific revolution of Chaos Theory and now is known as the chaotic behavior in the mathematics weather system.

Time and Place of birth

Edward Lorenz was born on 23 May 1917, in West Hartford, Connecticut, United States.

Early life

Lorenz built his interest in science at a very early age from both sides of his family. His father was a major in mechanical engineering, Edward Henry Lorenz from the Institute of Technology, Massachusetts and his mother Grace Peloubet Norton established an interest in games in Edward Lorenz’s mind, especially Chess.

In 1938 Lorenz received his Degree from Dartmouth College of Bachelor’s in Mathematics, and also received his Degree from Harvard in Masters in Mathematics. Lorenz worked for the United States Army Air Forces in 1942 as a weather forecaster during World War 2.

While working there he started building interest and pursued to study Meteorology and graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Lorenz earned a Master’s degree in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the year 1943 and also a Doctoral degree in Meteorology in the year 1948, and at the MIT’s department he was a member of the staff from 1948 to 1955, and there he was scheduled as being an assistant professor and later in 1962 he promoted to a professor and after that, he was head of the Meteorology department from 1977 to 1981.

First-ever mathematician and physicist to receive a Feild’s Medal.

In 1987 after retiring Lorenz became an emeritus professor as well.
An event was held in the year 1961 which gave a lot of fame worldwide to Lorenz. In the year 1991, Lorenz gave a lecture on Jessie and John Danz at the University of Washington. Lorenz got married to Jane Logan but she died in 2001.

Education and Career

Edward Lorenz graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Dartmouth College and did his Master’s from Harvard University. Lorenz also pursued Meteorology and graduated in the same from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lorenz received his degree in Meteorology and a Doctoral degree in Meteorology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

John Nash Nobel Memorial Prize winner in economic science.

While in Lorenz’s career he spent his whole career life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. To begin with, he started as a research scientist there in addition he became an assistant professor and was promoted to professor, furthermore, he became the head of the Department of Meteorology at MIT.

Contribution in Science

Lorenz’s heartfelt contribution to science and his bearing behavior, gentle humility, and his love for nature, Lorenz set a captivating example of how it is to be a gentleman as well as a scholar.

Chaos theory

It was the year 1961 and Lorenz was using a simple computer device with which he was stimulating weather patterns while representing temperature, wind speed and wanted to see the data in sequence and to save some time in the middle of the course he started the stimulation while doing this he was surprised to see that the calculation the machine predicted as it was totally different to the previous calculation.
This happened because the computer printout showed a rounded decimal number. In a working computer, it shows a 6-digit number but the printout showed a 3-digit number so if a value of 0.506127 is printed as 0.506 this difference may be tiny but Lorenz explained how a small problem can cause large changes in a long outcome. And this proved how detailed atmospheric predictions cannot be used for long-term weather predictions and this led to the Butterfly Effect, how small changes could have large consequences.

Atmospheric Circulations

Lorenz worked with Victor Starr in the late 1940s -50s both of them worked on a project to understand the role of how the weather system worked while determining the energetics of General Circulation at MIT. After working on this in 1967, Lorenz published his work about atmospheric circulation and this increased the potential energy.

Numerical Weather Prediction

From the year 1950, Lorenz started building interest in numerical weather prediction which was dependent on the computers for the weather forecast to process observations about wind, temperature, and pressure. Until 1953, Lorenz took over the project leadership of MIT and ran serious weather models on it which he used to assess the forecasting techniques. And during this time Lorenz discovered Chaos theory.

An American Biochemist who revolutionized DNA research.


Edward Lorenz later in his life lived in Cambridge with his wife and his children. Lorenz was a very keen outdoorsman, he used to enjoy hiking, skiing around the country, climbing, etc. he kept doing these activities until late in his life.

Interesting facts

  • Edward Lorenz’s theories are still taught to students and are used widely in weather forecasting.
  • Lorenz’s work for which he is widely popular was published in a classic paper in the Journal of Atmospheric Science in the year 1963.

Books published

  • In the year 1993, The Essence of Chaos
  • In the year 1967, The Nature and Theory of the General Circulation of the Atmosphere
  • In the year 1969, Three Approaches to Atmospheric Predictability

Awards and Medals

  • Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, 1969
  • Symons Gold Medal, 1973
  • Fellow, National Academy Science, 1975
  • Crafoord Prize, 1983
  • Elliott Cresson Medal, 1989
  • Kyoto Prize, 1991
  • International Meteorological Organization Prize, 2000
  • Buys Ballot Medal, 2004
  • Lomonosov Gold Medal, 2004

A mathematician who was a great musician also.


Edward Lorenz died at the age of 90 on 16 April 2008 because of cancer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the U.S. at his house.


When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world but it can cause a hurricane in another.
Edward Lorenz

Mathematics seems to have zero difficulties in creating new concepts faster than the usual ones become well understood
Edward Lorenz

Does the flap of a butterfly’s wing in Brazil set off a Tornado in Texas?
Edward Lorenz

The Man Who Revolutionized Computers.


When was Edward Lorenz born?

Edward Lorenz was born in West Hartford, Connecticut, the United States on 23 May 1917.

Who is the father of Chaos Theory?

The father of the Chaos Theory is Edward Lorenz who discovered how a small change can affect large problems.

When did Edward Lorenz die?

Edward Lorenz died on 16 April 2008 because he suffered from cancer.

What did Edward Lorenz discover?

Edward Lorenz’s contribution to science was great as he discovered Atmospheric circulations, Numerical weather predictions and Chaos theory, and the Butterfly effect.


Edward Lorenz was a man who loved outdoor activities and used to do them until he was diagnosed with cancer. He spent his whole career life in MIT doing discoveries about all the types of contributions he has done to date. A man who changed the face of science.
Thank you for reading my article. I hope it was informative to you all! If you have any other questions you can put them in the comment box.

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