How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality / Edition 1

How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organized Criticality / Edition 1

by Per Bak, P. Bak
     
 

ISBN-10: 0387947914

ISBN-13: 9780387947914

Pub. Date: 08/29/1996

Publisher: Springer New York

Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from sk market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.

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Overview

Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from sk market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.
"...a'must read'...Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing...essential reading for those interested in complex systems...it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE
"...presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW
"I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray... His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780387947914
Publisher:
Springer New York
Publication date:
08/29/1996
Edition description:
1996
Pages:
226
Product dimensions:
6.42(w) x 9.46(h) x 0.95(d)

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments
Ch. 1Complexity and Criticality1
Ch. 2The Discovery of Self-Organized Criticality33
Ch. 3The Sandpile Paradigm49
Ch. 4Real Sandpiles and Landscape Formation65
Ch. 5Earthquakes, Starquakes, and Solar Flares85
Ch. 6The "Game of Life": Complexity Is Criticality105
Ch. 7Is Life a Self-Organized Critical Phenomenon?113
Ch. 8Mass Extinctions and Punctuated Equilibria in a Simple Model of Evolution129
Ch. 9Theory of the Punctuated Equilibrium Model161
Ch. 10The Brain175
Ch. 11On Economics and Traffic Jams183
Bibliography199
Index207

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