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  • Explain complex systems.
  • Discuss chaotic behavior of different systems.

Much of what impresses us about physics is related to the underlying connections and basic simplicity of the laws we have discovered. The language of physics is precise and well defined because many basic systems we study are simple enough that we can perform controlled experiments and discover unambiguous relationships. Our most spectacular successes, such as the prediction of previously unobserved particles, come from the simple underlying patterns we have been able to recognize. But there are systems of interest to physicists that are inherently complex. The simple laws of physics apply, of course, but complex systems may reveal patterns that simple systems do not. The emerging field of complexity    is devoted to the study of complex systems, including those outside the traditional bounds of physics. Of particular interest is the ability of complex systems to adapt and evolve.

What are some examples of complex adaptive systems? One is the primordial ocean. When the oceans first formed, they were a random mix of elements and compounds that obeyed the laws of physics and chemistry. In a relatively short geological time (about 500 million years), life had emerged. Laboratory simulations indicate that the emergence of life was far too fast to have come from random combinations of compounds, even if driven by lightning and heat. There must be an underlying ability of the complex system to organize itself, resulting in the self-replication we recognize as life. Living entities, even at the unicellular level, are highly organized and systematic. Systems of living organisms are themselves complex adaptive systems. The grandest of these evolved into the biological system we have today, leaving traces in the geological record of steps taken along the way.

Complexity as a discipline examines complex systems, how they adapt and evolve, looking for similarities with other complex adaptive systems. Can, for example, parallels be drawn between biological evolution and the evolution of economic systems ? Economic systems do emerge quickly, they show tendencies for self-organization, they are complex (in the number and types of transactions), and they adapt and evolve. Biological systems do all the same types of things. There are other examples of complex adaptive systems being studied for fundamental similarities. Cultures show signs of adaptation and evolution. The comparison of different cultural evolutions may bear fruit as well as comparisons to biological evolution. Science also is a complex system of human interactions, like culture and economics, that adapts to new information and political pressure, and evolves, usually becoming more organized rather than less. Those who study creative thinking also see parallels with complex systems. Humans sometimes organize almost random pieces of information, often subconsciously while doing other things, and come up with brilliant creative insights. The development of language is another complex adaptive system that may show similar tendencies. Artificial intelligence is an overt attempt to devise an adaptive system that will self-organize and evolve in the same manner as an intelligent living being learns. These are a few of the broad range of topics being studied by those who investigate complexity. There are now institutes, journals, and meetings, as well as popularizations of the emerging topic of complexity.

Questions & Answers

avg velocity of a particle in a material due to electric field
Cristiano Reply
what is drift velocity?
akash Reply
what's are maxwells equation on free space??
gravitational field straight is the point were of the gravity appear to be more concentrated
Oshaba Reply
what is Boltzmann's constant
Michael Reply
what is gravitational field strength
yes ahmed becz a body though with constant speed changes its direction posseses aceleration.
Ghulam Reply
what is Boltzmann constant
Nweke Reply
Is a body moving with constant speed in a circular path undergoing acceleration?
Ahmad Reply
pls what are the formulas for transformers??
Salawudeen Reply
Data's.... yes you could write "a" as "g" provided the term used in the question is "acceleration due to gravity"
Victor Reply
Second law of motion
Habeebah Reply
Rheostat is used to control current by varying resistance
Jananiy Reply
I little can't understand this can anyone explain it to me.
Samkelisiwe Reply
0.8 seconds. We need vertical speed (y axis) for this task. V final = V initial + a*t. V initial on y axis is 4 m/s, as V initial * sin(30°) = 8 / 2 = 4. Speed of the ball at the start will be equal to its speed when it hits the ground - V final = -4 m/s. a = -10 m/s^2 (acceleration due to gravity)
Data's Reply
rearrange the formula at the beginning and you will get t = (V final - V initial) / a. That is -8 / -10
you could write "a" as "g"
a ball is kicked with a velocity of 8ms at an angle of 30°to the horizontal. calculate the time of flight of the ball
Galaxy Reply
Practice Key Terms 2

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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