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Special Issue "Phase Transitions and Emergent Phenomena: How Change Emerges through Basic Probability Models"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 December 2019.
Statistical Physics Group, Centre for Fluid and Complex Systems, Coventry University CV1 5FB, UK
Interests: phase transitions; critical phenomena; exact solutions; finite size scaling; partition-function zeros; renormalization group; logarithmic corrections; scaling relations; universality; complex systems; sociophysics; networks; digital humanities
Ludwig Boltzmann and contemporaries pioneered the development of statistical physics towards the end of the 19th century. The pillars on which the discipline rests include “bottom-up” theories of phase transitions and critical phenomena, built on other pioneering ideas and work such as that of Wilhelm Lenz and Ernst Ising at the start of the 20th century. In the words of Stephen Hawking, we are now in the “century of complexity”, moving on from basic laws that govern matter to how everything is connected to everything else.
Although Ising’s original investigations did not deliver the desired result of a phase transition, the idea that randomness coupled with gross simplification at the micro-level could explain changes of state at the macro-level was ground-breaking. Now we know the importance of dimensionality; interaction range; symmetries; whether the model is classical or quantum, equilibrium, or non-equilibrium, etc., in understanding the physics of change.
A vast body of research covers how all sorts of variants on such systems describe increasingly complex systems, but the essential idea to apply probabilistic considerations to simplified many-body systems was borrowed from socio systems. In recent times, with the emergence of the notion of “emergence”, the statistical physics of complex systems has re-embraced its interdisciplinary birthplace, delivering rich physics in and beyond physics and contributing to our understanding of the world.
This Special Issue focuses on models that are simplified at the micro level but complex at the macro level. We are interested in negative results like Ising’s as well as positive results, and, reflecting the birthplace of statistical physics, we welcome interdisciplinary considerations as well as traditional physics. Thus, this Issue focuses on the concept of change—how the simple can deliver the complex through non-trivial mechanisms, wherever they arise.
This special issue is dedicated to the fond memory of Professor Ian Campbell who has contributed so much to our understanding of phase transitions and emergent phenomena. In particular, Ian’s discovery of extended scaling, and his research into hyperscaling and spin glasses have contributed very significantly to theories of critical phenomena and we anticipate they will contribute more in the years to come. We are honored that Ian’s last paper (co-authored with Per-Håkan Lundow) is published in this special issue.
Prof. Dr. Ralph Kenna
Manuscript Submission Information
Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.
Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Entropy is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.
Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.
- Phase transitions
- Critical phenomena
- Statistical physics concepts applied to other disciplines