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Physica A 281 (2000) 6068 www.elsevier.com/locate/physa

Summary: Physica A 281 (2000) 60­68
Scale invariance and universality:
organizing principles in complex systems
H.E. Stanleya;
, L.A.N. Amarala
, P. Gopikrishnana
, P.Ch. Ivanova
T.H. Keittb
, V. Pleroua
aCenter for Polymer Studies and Department of Physics, Boston University, Boston, MA 02215, USA
bNational Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, 735 State Street, Suite 300,
Santa Barbara, CA 93101, USA
This paper is a brief summary of a talk that was designed to address the question of whether
two of the pillars of the ˙eld of phase transitions and critical phenomena ­ scale invariance and
universality ­ can be useful in guiding research on a broad class of complex phenomena. We
shall see that while scale invariance has been tested for many years, universality is relatively
more rarely discussed. In particular, we shall develop a heuristic argument that serves to make


Source: Amaral, Luis A.N. - Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Northwestern University
Keitt, Timothy H. - Section for Integrative Biology, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin
Stanley, H. Eugene - Department of Physics, Boston University


Collections: Biology and Medicine; Computer Technologies and Information Sciences; Environmental Sciences and Ecology; Materials Science; Physics