PHY196H1: Emergence in Nature

Hours

24S

The universe is not a rigid clockwork, but neither is it formless and random. Instead, it is filled with highly organized, evolved structures that have somehow emerged from simple rules of physics. Examples range from the structure of galaxies to the pattern of ripples on windblown sand, to biological and even social processes. These phenomena exist in spite of the universal tendency towards disorder. How is this possible? Self-organization challenges the usual reductionistic scientific method, and begs the question of whether we can ever really understand or predict truly complex systems. Restricted to first-year students. Not eligible for CR/NCR.

Prerequisite
No prior experience with physical science will be required, but familiarity with Grade 10 mathematics will be assumed.
Distribution Requirements
Science
Breadth Requirements
The Physical and Mathematical Universes (5)