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Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences: Chaos, Fractals, Selforganization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools (Springer Series in Synergetics) Paperback – 22 Feb 2009
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Concepts, methods and techniques of statistical physics in the study of correlated, as well as uncorrelated, phenomena are being applied ever increasingly in the natural sciences, biology and economics in an attempt to understand and model the large variability and risks of phenomena. This is the first textbook written by a well-known expert that provides a modern up-to-date introduction for workers outside statistical physics. The emphasis of the book is on a clear understanding of concepts and methods, while it also provides the tools that can be of immediate use in applications. Although this book evolved out of a course for graduate students, it will be of great interest to researchers and engineers, as well as to post-docs in geophysics and meteorology.
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quality. The presentation remains informal and quite readable; it reads like a physics textbook, not a math textbook. The references are very extensive (a total of 832! altogether) and they are a very valuable component of the book. In fact much of the book is about the reference material. You might choose to read the book instead of the 832 references... I think this is
There's probably nothing wrong with this book besides the fact that it throws it all at you at a high degree of sophistication and in as terse a way as possible, it seems. It's a unique and beautiful achievement but because it is so dense with information and insight, it seems every word counts for ten and you'll want to read several chapters again and again. Also, even though there is a clear unifying theme from chapter to chapter, the book simply ends almost like in the middle of a sentence. After machinegunning out 392 pages of material at research level spanning quite a few scientific fields, there is absolutely no attempt to put it all together. It's up to you to do it and it almost seems like the author is indirectly suggesting you start reading it all over again to "get it"... So, for the second edition, perhaps the author will be bold and add ten pages of wrap up material at the end so that this will read less like an atlas. Apart from that, it's the best!
The book includes an extensive bibliography, and provides a unifying survey of these references. Unfortunately, the index is skimpy making it difficult to quickly find particular topics when using the book as a reference. E.g., the discussions of 'coherent noise', 'finite-size scaling' an 'highly optimized tolerance' are not mentioned in the index. The text has numerous typos that would easily be found by a spell checker, giving the impression there may also be more substantive errors.
Particularly, it shows the way that some seismologists follow toward the ultimate goal to predict the event of large earthquakes. If this task was impossible yesterday,Didier Sornette shows that it is now became realisable.
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