How Nature Works: the science of self-organized criticality

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9780387987385: How Nature Works: the science of self-organized criticality
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Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.
"...a'must read'...Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing...essential reading for those interested in complex systems...it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE
"...presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW
"I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray... His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST

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Review:

. . . In print, at least, what might seem arrogant comes across as a kind of innocent, childlike enthusiasm, a lack of concern for anything but the sheer joy of figuring things out. His ruthless simplifications of geology, evolution, and neurology pay off because, as Bak notes, his models describe behavior that is common across these domains. This universality means that trampling across others' turf is not only acceptable, but almost mandatory, if the underlying principles are to be exposed. Finally, for the most part, Bak wants the reader to grasp the basic logic of his arguments; only rarely does he try to persuade with flights of poetic language or brute intellectual authority.

About the Author:

Per Bak is a professor in the Physics Department of Brookhaven National Laboratory. He has published over 150 papers, including articles in Scientific American and New Scientist.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780387947914: How Nature Works: The Science of Self-organized Criticality

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ISBN 10:  0387947914 ISBN 13:  9780387947914
Publisher: Copernicus (Springer), 1996
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9780198501640: How Nature Works : The Science of Self-Organized Criticality

Oxford..., 1997
Hardcover

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Book Description Springer-Verlag New York Inc., United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.".a'must read'.Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing.essential reading for those interested in complex systems.it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE".presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW"I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray. His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST 1st ed. 1996. 2nd printing 1999. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1996. Seller Inventory # APC9780387987385

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Book Description Springer-Verlag New York Inc., United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.".a'must read'.Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing.essential reading for those interested in complex systems.it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE".presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW"I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray. His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST 1st ed. 1996. 2nd printing 1999. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1996. Seller Inventory # APC9780387987385

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. 212 pages. Many seemingly disparate aspects of the world, from the formation of the landscape to the process of evolution to the action of nervous systems to the behavior of the economy, all share a set of simple, easily described properties. These properties are all so similar, Per Bak writes, that they make us wonder if they are all manifestations of a single principle. Can there be a Newtons law, an fma, of complex behavior In How Nature Works Bak argues that self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the key to such a principle. While many theories have been proposed to describe individual complex systems, self-organized criticality is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. How Nature Works, written by the discoverer of self-organized criticality, describes for general readers a concept of increasing importance. Few books offer such a compelling glimpse into the science of the future as this one. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780387987385

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Book Description Springer-Verlag New York Inc., United States, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties.".a'must read'.Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing.essential reading for those interested in complex systems.it will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE".presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW"I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray. His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST 1st ed. 1996. 2nd printing 1999. Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 1996. Seller Inventory # LIE9780387987385

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