Friday, August 29, 2008

Why Complex Matters?

Why did I choose the title "Complex Matters" for my blog? You might think that I am writing about complex matters in life. Life is indeed complex and the matters in life that are the most important are certainly the most complex. But this is not the reason. No, the reason is far more nerdy than that. The title of my blog is really a reference to states of matter that are complex --- what I study for a living. Among other things, I study the science of matter ("stuff") made up of many particles -- say electrons -- where the laws that govern the individual particle may be simple, but the behavior of the collection of particles is complex. Sometimes this is called "emergent phenomena". In fact, in much of modern science it is exactly this type of complexity that really matters.

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