How Nature Works

the science of self-organized criticality

Authors: Bak, Per

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About this book

and acknowledgments Self-organized criticality is a new way of viewing nature. The basic picture is one where nature is perpetually out of balance, but organized in a poised state-the critical state-where anything can happen within well-defined statistical laws. The aim of the science of self-organized criticality is to yield insight into the fundamental question of why nature is complex, not simple, as the laws of physics imply. Self-organized criticality explains some ubiquitous patterns existing in nature that we view as complex. Fractal structure and catastrophic events are among those regularities. Applications range from the study of pulsars and black holes to earthquakes and the evolution of life. One intriguing conse­ quence of the theory is that catastrophes can occur for no reason whatsoever. Mass extinctions may take place without any external triggering mechanism such as a volcanic eruption or a meteorite hitting the earth (although the the­ ory of course cannot rule out that this has in fact occurred). xu How Nature Works Since we first proposed the idea in 1987, more than 2,ooo papers have been written on self-organized criticality, making ours the most cited paper in physics during that period. How Nature Works is the first book to deal with the subject. The basic idea is simple, and most of the mathematical models that have been used in the implementation of the theory are not complicated.

Table of contents (11 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook 16,99 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-4757-5426-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover 25,95 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-94791-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
Softcover 23,87 €
price for Spain (gross)
  • ISBN 978-0-387-98738-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
  • The final prices may differ from the prices shown due to specifics of VAT rules
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
How Nature Works
Book Subtitle
the science of self-organized criticality
Authors
Copyright
1996
Publisher
Copernicus
Copyright Holder
Springer Science+Business Media New York
Distribution Rights
Distribution rights for British Commonwealth and Ireland: Per Bak c/o Brockmann Inc., New York, USA
eBook ISBN
978-1-4757-5426-1
DOI
10.1007/978-1-4757-5426-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-387-94791-4
Softcover ISBN
978-0-387-98738-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 212
Number of Illustrations and Tables
27 b/w illustrations, 9 illustrations in colour
Topics