Complexity and Criticality

Chapter

Abstract

How can the universe start with a few types of elementary particles at the big bang, and end up with life, history, economics, and literature? The question is screaming out to be answered but it is seldom even asked. Why did the big bang not form a simple gas of particles, or condense into one big crystal? We see complex phenomena around us so often that we take them for granted without looking for further explanation. In fact, until recently very little scientific effort was devoted to understanding why nature is complex.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Benton, M. J. ed. The Fossil Record 2. London: Chapman and Hall, 1993. Dawkins, R. The Blind Watchmaker. New York: Penguin, 1988.Google Scholar
  2. Feder, J. Fractals. New York: Plenum, 1988.MATHGoogle Scholar
  3. Feigenbaum, M. J. Quantitative Universality for a Class of Nonlinear Transformations. Journal of Statistical Physics 19 (1978) 25.MathSciNetMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gleick, J. Chaos. New York: Viking, 1987.MATHGoogle Scholar
  5. Gould, Stephen Jay. Wonderful Life. New York: Norton, 1989.Google Scholar
  6. Gleick, J. and Eldridge, N. Punctuated Equilibrium: The Tempo and Mode of Evolution Reconsidered. Paleobiology 3 (1977) 114.Google Scholar
  7. Gutenberg, B. and Richter, C. F. Seismicity of the Earth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949.Google Scholar
  8. Johnston, A. C. and Nava, S. Recurrence Rates and Probability Estimates for the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Journal of Geophysical Research 90 (1985) 6737.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Mandelbrot, B. The Variation ofCertain Speculative Prices. Journal of Business of the University of Chicago 36 (1963)307.Google Scholar
  10. Mandelbrot, B.- The Variation of Some Other Speculative Prices. Journal of Business of the University of Chicago 37(1964)393.Google Scholar
  11. Mandelbrot, B. How Long is the Coast of Britain? Science 156 (1 967 ) 637.Google Scholar
  12. Mandelbrot, B.- The Fractal Geometry of Nature. New York: Freeman, 1983.Google Scholar
  13. Officer, C. and Page, J. Tiles of the Earth. Paroxysms and Perturbations of the Blue Planet. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press,1993.Google Scholar
  14. Press, W. H. Flicker Noise in Astronomy and Elsewhere. Comments on Astrophysics 7 (1978)103.Google Scholar
  15. Prigogine, I. From Being to Becoming. San Francisco: Freeman, 1980.Google Scholar
  16. Raup, D. M. Biological Extinction in Earth History. Science 231 (1986) 1528. Extinction: Bad Genes or Bad Luck. New York: Norton, 1991.Google Scholar
  17. Raup, D. M. and Sepkoski, J. J. Periodicity of Extinctions in the Geological Past. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA 81 (1984) 801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Ruderman, D. L. The Statistics of Natural Images. Network: Computation in Neural Systems 5 (1994)5 17.Google Scholar
  19. Schroeder, M. Fractals, Chaos, Power Laws. New York: Freeman, 1991.MATHGoogle Scholar
  20. Sepkoski, J. J. Jr. Ten Years in the Library: New Data Confirm Paleontological Patterns. Paleobiology 19 (1993)43.Google Scholar
  21. Sepkoski, J.- Mass Extinction Processes: Periodicity. In: Briggs, D. E. G. and Crowther, P R., eds. Paleobiology. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992: 171.Google Scholar
  22. Zipf, George Kingsley. Human Behavior and the Principle of Least Effort. Cambridge MA: Addison-Wesley, 1949.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Per Bak

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations