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How nature works : the science of self-organized criticality

Author: P Bak
Publisher: New York, NY, USA : Copernicus, ©1996.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
This is an acclaimed book intended for the general reader who is interested in science. The author is a physicist who is well-known for his development of the property called "self-organized criticality", a property or phenomenon that lies at the heart of large dynamical systems. It can be used to analyse systems that are complicated, and which are part of the new science of complexity. It is a unifying concept that  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
Bak, P. (Per), 1947-
How nature works.
New York, NY, USA : Copernicus, ©1996
(DLC) 96016845
(OCoLC)34623628
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: P Bak
ISBN: 9781475754261 1475754264 9780387987385 038798738X
OCLC Number: 680279227
Reproduction Notes: Electronic reproduction. [Place of publication not identified] : HathiTrust Digital Library, 2010. MiAaHDL
Description: 1 online resource (xiii, 212 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates) : illustrations (some color)
Details: Master and use copy. Digital master created according to Benchmark for Faithful Digital Reproductions of Monographs and Serials, Version 1. Digital Library Federation, December 2002.
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.
Responsibility: Per Bak.

Abstract:

This is an acclaimed book intended for the general reader who is interested in science. The author is a physicist who is well-known for his development of the property called "self-organized criticality", a property or phenomenon that lies at the heart of large dynamical systems. It can be used to analyse systems that are complicated, and which are part of the new science of complexity. It is a unifying concept that can be used to study phenomena in fields as diverse as economics, astronomy, the earth sciences, and physics. The author discusses his discovery of self-organized criticality; its relation to the world of classical physics; computer simulations and experiments which aid scientists' understanding of the property; and the relation of the subject to popular areas such as fractal geometry and power laws; cellular automata, and a wide range of practical applications.

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