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What are some of the best books on complex systems?

+ 6 like - 0 dislike
123 views

I'm rather interested in getting my feet wet at the interface of complex systems and emergence. Can anybody give me references to some good books on these topics? I'm looking for very introductory technical books.


This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:25 (UCT), posted by SE-user Joebevo

asked Oct 13, 2012 in Resources and References by Joebevo (35 points) [ revision history ]
recategorized Apr 24, 2014 by dimension10
Do note: physics.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/4609

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:26 (UCT), posted by SE-user Dimensio1n0

3 Answers

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Maybe these three lectures about emergence could be interesting to get a first overview of the topic. Therein Prof. De Deo explains for example that emergence has a lot to to with what new phenomena can occurre when coarse graining (or renormalizing) microscopic degrees of freedom of a large system to obtain an effective (possibly including emergent phenomena) macroscopic description.

Background material to understand and deepen the wisdom about the concepts presented in these lectures can be found here. Among these resources is this book titled "Statistical Physics: Statics, Dynamics and Renormalization". It explains not only the statistical mechanics basics, but from the authors "interdisciplinery" point of view it includes topics such as renormalization, self-organized criticality complexity, and other things which are useful and important to understand emergence (as explained in the video lectures).

I've just read some chapters of this book, it is slightly technical and very accessible, and the style of writing makes me wanting to read the whole thing.

answered Oct 15, 2012 by Dilaton (4,175 points) [ revision history ]
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James P. Sethna is one of the leading figure in this area. You can refer to his book without any doubt. http://www.lassp.cornell.edu/sethna/

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:26 (UCT), posted by SE-user renormalizedQuanta
answered Oct 15, 2012 by renormalizedQuanta (0 points) [ no revision ]
+ 1 like - 0 dislike

I like the book Energy Landscapes by David Wales. It deals with various classes of complex systems (clusters, glasses, proteins) in the context of chemistry.

I want to add - emergence is fraught with flaky ideas; a lot of appeals to ignorance are rooted from the idea of irreducible complexity. So because we can't, say, predict the weather from $F=ma$, this means that God makes it happen.

If you're interested in something "bigger" than the chemistry of complex systems, I like the work of David Bohn (say, The Undivided Universe).

This post imported from StackExchange Physics at 2014-03-17 04:26 (UCT), posted by SE-user Ryan
answered Nov 29, 2012 by Ryan (0 points) [ no revision ]

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