Self-organization is a growing interdisciplinary field of research about a phenomenon that can be observed in the Universe, in nature and in social contexts. Researchers seek explanations by using both experimental, often computer-based approaches and empirical, observational approaches. Mechanisms of self-organization are beginning to be identified and the theoretical foundation is under development. Research on self-organization tries to describe and explain forms, complex patterns and behaviours that arise without an outside organizer. They arise under complex conditions away from equilibrium, on the edge of chaos. One common characteristic of the mechanisms that trigger and create self-organization are the use of simple rules for the emergence of complex processes.
A large part of the discussion during the symposium dealt with theories and methods in research on self-organization. Both experiments and empirical research are needed, but perhaps above all the development of a platform of knowledge from which it is possible to deal with the complexity that is also the precondition for self-organization. Reductionist approaches were deemed insufficient and a closer association between physics and biology was identified as a future strategy, since both these disciplines study relationships and characteristics in dynamic systems.
This is a summary of the June issue of Philosophical Transactions A. The 18 papers in this issue can be found on FirstCite, the Societys rapid online publication service at
Tim Watson | alfa
Immortal quantum particles: the cycle of decay and rebirth
14.06.2019 | Technische Universität München
Small currents for big gains in spintronics
13.06.2019 | University of Tokyo
The well-known representation of chemical elements is just one example of how objects can be arranged and classified
The periodic table of elements that most chemistry books depict is only one special case. This tabular overview of the chemical elements, which goes back to...
Light can be used not only to measure materials’ properties, but also to change them. Especially interesting are those cases in which the function of a material can be modified, such as its ability to conduct electricity or to store information in its magnetic state. A team led by Andrea Cavalleri from the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter in Hamburg used terahertz frequency light pulses to transform a non-ferroelectric material into a ferroelectric one.
Ferroelectricity is a state in which the constituent lattice “looks” in one specific direction, forming a macroscopic electrical polarisation. The ability to...
Researchers at TU Graz calculate the most accurate gravity field determination of the Earth using 1.16 billion satellite measurements. This yields valuable knowledge for climate research.
The Earth’s gravity fluctuates from place to place. Geodesists use this phenomenon to observe geodynamic and climatological processes. Using...
Discovery by Brazilian and US researchers could change the classification of two species, which appear more akin to jellyfish than was thought.
The tube anemone Isarachnanthus nocturnus is only 15 cm long but has the largest mitochondrial genome of any animal sequenced to date, with 80,923 base pairs....
Researchers at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have discovered a completely new way of capturing, amplifying and linking light to matter at the nanolevel. Using a tiny box, built from stacked atomically thin material, they have succeeded in creating a type of feedback loop in which light and matter become one. The discovery, which was recently published in Nature Nanotechnology, opens up new possibilities in the world of nanophotonics.
Photonics is concerned with various means of using light. Fibre-optic communication is an example of photonics, as is the technology behind photodetectors and...
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