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Scientometrics

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 9–36 | Cite as

Application of statistical physics methods and conceptsto the study of science & technology systems

  • Luis A. N. Amaral
  • P. Gopikrishnan
  • Kaushik Matia
  • Vasiliki Plerou
  • H. E. Stanley
Article

Abstract

We apply methods and concepts of statistical physics to the study of science & technology(S&T) systems. Specifically, our research is motivated by two concepts of fundamentalimportance in modern statistical physics: scaling and universality. We try to identify robust,universal, characteristics of the evolution of S&T systems that can provide guidance to forecastingthe impact of changes in funding. We quantify the production of research in a novel fashioninspired by our previous study of the growth dynamics of business firms. We study the productionof research from the point of view both of inputs (R&D funding) and of outputs (publications andpatents) and find the existence of scaling laws describing the growth of these quantities.We also analyze R&D systems of different countries to test the "universality" of our results.We hypothesize that the proposed methods may be particularly useful for fields of S&T (or forlevels of aggregation) for which either not enough information is available, or for which evolutionis so fast that there is not enough time to collect enough data to make an informed decision.

Keywords

Statistical Physic Technology System Informed Decision Physic Method Growth Dynamic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers/Akadémiai Kiadó 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Luis A. N. Amaral
    • 1
  • P. Gopikrishnan
    • 1
  • Kaushik Matia
    • 1
  • Vasiliki Plerou
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. E. Stanley
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Polymer Studies and Department of PhysicsBoston UniversityBoston(USA)
  2. 2.Department of PhysicsBoston CollegeBoston(USA)

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