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Untangling Complex Systems: A Grand Challenge for Science

Natural Scienc
Thematic Area
Applied Chemistry, Artificial intelligence (computer science and mathematics), Chemistry/Biology, Environmental studies, Media technology (computer science and mathematics), Simulations of physical behaviors (computer science, biomedicine, mathematics, mechanics), Sociology and Philosophy, Systems thinking-Theoretical framework and assessment
Description of the Course Material
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 marvellous 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 behaviours in time and space.
Although the fundamental physical and chemical laws are known, we encounter many difficulties in predicting the phenomenology of the Complex Systems mainly for computational reasons. If we want to control Complex Systems, we need to improve our computational facilities, design brand new ones, formulate new algorithms, and develop new modules. This book traces a didactic route and a research path that will be useful to untangle Complex Systems.
Other features of this book:
• Includes homework problems with solutions, lists of key questions and keywords in every chapter, for a better comprehension of the different subjects.
• Some chemical laboratory experiments are proposed and solved as exercises.