Physicists who do research on complex systems

In summary, the condensed matter physicists I know would likely classify these researchers as separate from them, though I cannot say for certain.
  • #1
StatGuy2000
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Hi everyone. I have followed with interest in the work of physicists who have conducted research in the area of complex systems and nonlinear dynamics. For example, consider researchers such as Mark Newman from the University of Michigan, Jim Crutchfield of USC, or Doyne Farmer and David Wolpert of the Santa Fe Institute.

Would you consider these people to be part of the condensed matter physics theory community of researchers (given their common background in statistical physics)? Or is it best to think of these researchers as a separate, entirely distinct of physics?
 
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  • #2
The best way to answer this is to see:
- what departments they are in at their universities or companies or
- what courses they teach or
- what journals they typically submit to.
 
  • #3
jedishrfu said:
The best way to answer this is to see:
- what departments they are in at their universities or companies or
- what courses they teach or
- what journals they typically submit to.

In the case of some of the physicists that I'm aware of who do research on complex systems, they have submitted their publications to journals such as Physical Review E (covering statistical nonlinear, biological and soft matter physics), Journal of Complex Networks (which, as the title suggests, is a journal that specializes in complex networks research).

This doesn't really answer my question about whether these researchers are part of the condensed matter physics community.
 
  • #4
^ Try asking experienced condensed matter physicists; assuming they are familiar with the literature and go to CMP events, they should be able to answer you directly.
StatGuy2000 said:
Hi everyone. I have followed with interest in the work of physicists who have conducted research in the area of complex systems and nonlinear dynamics. For example, consider researchers such as Mark Newman from the University of Michigan, Jim Crutchfield of USC, or Doyne Farmer and David Wolpert of the Santa Fe Institute.

Would you consider these people to be part of the condensed matter physics theory community of researchers (given their common background in statistical physics)? Or is it best to think of these researchers as a separate, entirely distinct of physics?
Some big "old" names in nonlinear dynamics (NLD) and complexity are Feigenbaum, Lorenz and Takens. They all were instrumental in the early 'nonlinear revolution' and obviously pioneers of the field, but while they were working back then they would most definitely all be classified as completely separate scientists working in completely separate fields.

Stephen Strogatz, of the masterful NLD textbook, and many of his students and collaborators, including Watts and Barabasi, would probably be classified as applied mathematicians; incidentally, nonlinear dynamics, chaos and complexity are also best classified as applied mathematics.
 
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Related to Physicists who do research on complex systems

1. What is a complex system?

A complex system is a system composed of many interconnected parts or elements that interact with each other, resulting in emergent behavior that cannot be predicted by studying the individual components alone.

2. What makes the study of complex systems important?

Studying complex systems is important because they are prevalent in many fields, such as biology, economics, and social sciences. Understanding how these systems behave and how they can be controlled or influenced can lead to advancements in various industries and fields.

3. What techniques do physicists use to study complex systems?

Physicists use a variety of mathematical and computational techniques to study complex systems. These can include network analysis, statistical mechanics, and dynamical systems theory.

4. What are some real-world applications of research on complex systems?

Research on complex systems has many real-world applications, such as predicting and controlling the spread of diseases, improving transportation systems, and optimizing supply chains. It can also help in understanding and addressing complex social issues, such as climate change and economic inequality.

5. How can research on complex systems benefit society?

Research on complex systems can benefit society by providing insights into the behavior of complex systems and how they can be manipulated or improved. This can lead to advancements in technology, better decision-making in various industries, and solutions to complex societal problems.

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