Take the 2-minute tour ×
Physics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for active researchers, academics and students of physics. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm rather interested in getting my feet wet at the interface of complex systems and emergence. Can anybody give me references to some good books on these topics? I'm looking for very introductory technical books.

share|improve this question
2  
@Dilaton. Perhaps it would be better to create one post for book recommendations of complex systems, and a separate post for book recommendations of information theory? It might not be constructive to keep them together. Also please crosscheck with the book recommendation topics that Phys.SE (and sister sites) already have. –  Qmechanic Oct 13 '12 at 14:18
    
add comment

3 Answers

I like the book Energy Landscapes by David Wales. It deals with various classes of complex systems (clusters, glasses, proteins) in the context of chemistry.

I want to add - emergence is fraught with flaky ideas; a lot of appeals to ignorance are rooted from the idea of irreducible complexity. So because we can't, say, predict the weather from $F=ma$, this means that God makes it happen.

If you're interested in something "bigger" than the chemistry of complex systems, I like the work of David Bohn (say, The Undivided Universe).

share|improve this answer
add comment

James P. Sethna is one of the leading figure in this area. You can refer to his book without any doubt. http://www.lassp.cornell.edu/sethna/

share|improve this answer
add comment

Maybe these three lectures about emergence could be interesting to get a first overview of the topic. Therein Prof. De Deo explains for example that emergence has a lot to to with what new phenomena can occurre when coarse graining (or renormalizing) microscopic degrees of freedom of a large system to obtain an effective (possibly including emergent phenomena) macroscopic description.

Background material to understand and deepen the wisdom about the concepts presented in these lectures can be found here. Among these resources is this book titled "Statistical Physics: Statics, Dynamics and Renormalization". It explains not only the statistical mechanics basics, but from the authors "interdisciplinery" point of view it includes topics such as renormalization, self-organized criticality complexity, and other things which are useful and important to understand emergence (as explained in the video lectures).

I've just read some chapters of this book, it is slightly technical and very accessible, and the style of writing makes me wanting to read the whole thing.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.