Applications of Physics Inspired Methods in Natural, Social and Human Sciences
During the last decade, progress in theory and access to massive empirical data allowed the extension of the physics methods to a wide
range of disciplines. I will review the main paradigms that emerged up to this moment.
The “More is Different” paradigm:
– composite objects of one science are the elementary objects of another science:
– emergence of complex collective phenomena from many simple elementary interactions.
– examples from biology, economics, humanities
– conceptual unifying and practical impact
The “Positive Feedback Loop” paradigm
– the mechanism of self-fulfilling hopes / fears / expectations
– growth, structure, fractals, intermittent fluctuations,scaling.
– viciouscycles and virtuous cycles
– chemical and biological cycles, predator-prey cycles, economic cycles,
– built-in instability of growing/ developing systems and their sustainability.
The “Dynamical Networks” paradigm
– network representation of complex systems in microbiology, society, economics, internet, etc.
– qualitative characterization of network features and properties
– how do networks emerge and grow? Preferential attachment, copying links, diagonal links. Connectivity.
– emergence of global network complex properties from single link simple dynamical rules
– scaling networks, hierarchies, small worlds, clusters, cores, cliques
The Peer-to-Peer Diffusion paradigm
– percolation phase transitions
– the fine line between a hit and a flop in life, business, society and culture.
– supporting green technologies adoption
– bootstrap percolation
– the propagation and recovery from economic crises
– the propagation of social dissent. Successful vs failed revolutions..
The Importance of being Discrete” paradigm
– the fallacy of continuous density functions
– emergence of adaptive collective objects from proliferating inanimate elementary particles.
– the world is governed by rare extreme events rather then by averages
– singular change centers lead to adaptive growth ; Creative Destruction.
– Education and Economic Growth.
– Developing the Popperian paradigm (confrontation of theory with empirical facts) in biology, social and humanistic research.