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Chemical Complexity: Self-Organization Processes in Molecular Systems

Natural Scienc
Thematic Area
Systems thinking-Theoretical framework and assessment
Description of the Course Material
This book provides an outline of the complexity related theoretical concepts and their experimental verification, as they emerged in the middle of the twentieth century and have evolved since. The book presents a series of essays on selected topics that reflect authors' research interests with a focus on the concepts. The mathematical aspects are only briefly touched, since the focus is not on the methods.
Although, traditional physical chemistry has been concerned with interactions between atoms and molecules that produce a variety of equilibrium structures (the 'dead' order), biological cells exhibit a different 'living' kind of order. Through an unprecedented theoretical and experimental development, it was later revealed that biological self-organization phenomena are in complete agreement with the laws of physical chemistry, once these laws are applied to a special class of thermodynamically open systems and non-equilibrium states. This knowledge has led to the design and synthesis of simple inorganic systems capable for self-organization effects and operations on macroscopic to microscopic scales, even as single-molecule machines.
The book is freely available on line.