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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Bak, P. (Per), 1947-
How nature works.
New York, NY, USA : Copernicus, ©1996
|Material Type:||Internet resource|
|Document Type:||Book, Internet Resource|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||xiii, 212 pages,  pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm|
|Contents:||Complexity and criticality. The laws of physics are simple, but nature is complex ; Storytelling versus science ; What can a theory of complexity explain? ; Power laws and criticality ; Systems in balance are not complex ; Chaos is not complexity ; Self-organized criticality --
The discovery of self-organized criticality. Science at Brookhaven ; Where does 1/f "noise" come from? ; Susan Coppersmith's dog model ; On coupled pendulums ; The philosophy of using simple models on spherical cows ; The pendulums become critical --
The sandpile paradigm. The sandpile model ; Life in the sandpile world ; Can we calculate the power laws with pen and paper? Real sandpiles and landscape formation. Real sand ; Norwegian rice piles ; Vicsek's landscape experiment : the origin of fractals ; Himalayan sandpiles ; Sediment deposition ; Geomorphology : landscapes out of balance --
Earthquakes, starquakes, and solar flares. Self-organization of earthquakes ; A misprint leads to progress ; Rumbling around stromboli ; The crust of the Earth is critical ; Pulsar glitches and starquakes ; Black holes and solar flares --
The "game of life" : complexity is critical --
Is life a self-organized phenomenon? The Santa Fe Institute ; Sandpiles and punctuated equilibria ; Interacting dancing fitness landscapes. Mass extinctions and punctuated equilibria in a simple model of evolution. Can we model Darwin? ; A science project for a Sunday afternoon ; Life at a cold place ; Comparison with real data ; On dinosaurs and meteors ; Dante Chialvo's evolutionary game ; Self-organized criticality and Gaia ; Replaying the tape of evolution --
Theory of the punctuated equilibrium model. What is a theory? ; The random neighbor version of the evolution model ; The self-organization process ; The critical state ; Revisiting the game of life ; Revisiting earthquakes --
The brain. Why should the brain be critical? ; The monkey problem ; The brain and river networks --
On economies and traffic jams. Equilibrium economics is like water ; Real economics is like sand ; Simple toy model of a critical economy ; Fluctuations and catastrophes are unavoidable ; Traffic jams.
..."written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." - New Scientist"This lively book, the title of which is admittedly provocative, is full