Books by Brights


Understanding Natural Phenomena: Self-Organization and Emergence in Complex Systems

Understanding Natural Phenomena book cover

Author: Vinod Wadhawan
ISBN-10: 1548527939
ISBN-13: 978-1548527938
To Purchase: Amazon USA

Description

Science is all about trying to understand natural phenomena under the strict discipline imposed by the celebrated scientific method. Practically all the systems we encounter in Nature are dynamical systems, meaning that they evolve with time. Among them there are those that are either ‘simple’ or ‘simplifiable’ and can be handled by traditional, reductionistic science; and then there are those that are ‘complex’, for which nonreductionistic approaches have to be attempted for understanding their evolution. In this book the author makes a case that a good way to understand a large number of natural phenomena, both simple and complex, is to focus on their self-organization and emergence aspects. Both traits are rampant in Nature, and, given enough time, order emerges because Nature tends to find efficient ways to annul gradients of all types. This book will help you acquire a good understanding of the essential features of many natural phenomena, via the complexity-science route. The book is written at two levels, one of which hardly uses any mathematical equations; the mathematical treatment of some relevant topics has been pushed to the last part of the book, in the form of ten appendices. Therefore the book should be accessible to a large readership. It is a general-science book written in a reader-friendly language, but without any dumbing down of the narrative.

About the Author

Dr. Vinod Wadhawan holds the prestigious Raja Ramanna Fellowship at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai. His areas of specialization are: condensed- matter physics, crystallography, crystal growth, crystal physics, phase transitions, ferroic materials, smart structures, and complexity. The important notion of ‘latent symmetry’ was introduced by him. He has authored books on ferroic materials and smart structures. Dr. Wadhawan is a strong proponent of naturalism, and has been selected as an ‘Enthusiastic Bright’ by Brights Central. He has been very active in spreading the message of science, emphasizing the fact that the origin of life, and of much else, has a rational and natural (rather than supernatural) explanation in terms of the evolution of complexity in Nature.


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