ISBN-10:
038798738X
ISBN-13:
9780387987385
Pub. Date:
04/23/1999
Publisher:
Springer New York
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
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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 stock 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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780387987385
Publisher: Springer New York
Publication date: 04/23/1999
Edition description: 1st ed. 1996. 2nd printing 1999. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1996
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 281,638
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)

Table of Contents

1 Complexity and Criticality.- 2 The Discovery of Self-Organized Criticality.- 3 The Sandpile Paradigm.- 4 Real Sandpiles and Landscape Formation.- 5 Earthquakes, Starquakes, and Solar Flares.- 6 The “Game of Life”: Complexity Is Criticality.- 7 Is Life a Self-Organized Critical Phenomenon?.- 8 Mass Extinctions and Punctuated Equilibria in a Simple Model of Evolution.- 9 Theory of the Punctuated Equilibrium Model.- 10 The Brain.- 11 On Economics and Traffic Jams.

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