Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

Technical Book

Untangling Complex Systems: A Grand Challenge for Science

Complex Systems are natural systems that science is unable to describe exhaustively. Examples of Complex Systems are both unicellular and multicellular living beings; human brains; human immune systems; ecosystems; human societies; the global economy; the climate and geology of our planet. This book is an account of a marvelous interdisciplinary journey the author made to understand properties of the Complex Systems. He has undertaken his trip, equipped with the fundamental principles of physical chemistry, in particular, the Second Law of Thermodynamics that describes the spontaneous evolution of our universe, and the tools of Non-linear dynamics. By dealing with many disciplines, in particular, chemistry, biology, physics, economy, and philosophy, the author demonstrates that Complex Systems are intertwined networks, working in out-of-equilibrium conditions, which exhibit emergent properties, such as self-organization phenomena and chaotic behaviors in time and space. Although we know the fundamental physical and chemical laws, we encounter many difficulties in predicting the phenomenology of the Complex Systems for computational reasons. Therefore, if we want to control Complex Systems we need to improve our computational facilities but, at the same time, formulate new algorithms, models and contrive brand new computing machines.

University of Perugia
Pier Luigi Gentili
Complex Systems, Nonlinear Dynamics, Chaos, Computation, Biology, Statistical Physics