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statistical physics

Art for "Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization"

Scientists Discover Exotic New Patterns of Synchronization

In a world seemingly filled with chaos, physicists have discovered new forms of synchronization and are learning how to predict and control them.

In Theory

How Complex Wholes Emerge From Simple Parts

Throughout nature, throngs of relatively simple elements can self-organize into behaviors that seem unexpectedly complex. Scientists are beginning to understand why and how these phenomena emerge without a central organizing entity.

Crystal diffraction art for "A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern"
prime numbers

A Chemist Shines Light on a Surprising Prime Number Pattern

When a crystallographer treated prime numbers as a system of particles, the resulting diffraction pattern created a new view of existing conjectures in number theory.

Michael Assis folding a large, beige sheet or Miura-ori
statistical physics

The Atomic Theory of Origami

By reimagining the kinks and folds of origami as atoms in a lattice, researchers are uncovering strange behavior hiding in simple structures.

School of Fish

Swirling Bacteria Linked to the Physics of Phase Transitions

The new experiments suggest that simple models can explain the behavior of thousands of interacting organisms.


‘Digital Alchemist’ Seeks Rules of Emergence

Computational physicist Sharon Glotzer is uncovering the rules by which complex collective phenomena emerge from simple building blocks.

statistical physics

At the Far Ends of a New Universal Law

A potent theory has emerged explaining a mysterious statistical law that arises throughout physics and mathematics.


The Thermodynamic Theory of Ecology

Nature’s large-scale patterns emerge from incomplete surveys that borrow ideas from information theory.


The Game Theory of Life

An insight borrowed from computer science suggests that evolution values both fitness and diversity.