7:30 pm, Wednesday, December 8, 2010|
Fairmont Lounge, St. John's College
Making a Splash — Breaking a Neck: Complexity in Physical Systems
Leo P. Kadanoff
University of Chicago
The fundamental laws of physics are very simple; but the world about us is
very complex. Living things are very complex indeed. This complexity has
led some thinkers to suggest that living things are not the outcome of
physical law but instead the creation of a designer. Here I first examine
how complexity is produced naturally in fluids, and then use that as a
template to suggest how complexity might be produced more generally.
Examples described in detail include splashes, the formation of
drops, a square dance, turbulence in a fluid heated from below, and the
explosion of a star.
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Additional resources for this talk: slides, video.