Proceedings of the 240 Conference: Science's Great Challenges

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Based on the '240' Conference held at the University of Chicagoin September of 2012, this special volume of The Advances inChemical Physics series celebrates scientific researchcontributions and careers of R. Stephen Berry, Stuart A. Rice andJoshua Jortner. In addition to continuing the chemicalphysics field with a forum for critical, authoritative evaluationsof advances in the discipline, Volume 157 exploresthe following topics:

The Emergence and Breakdown of Complexity

Dynamics at Extremes

Grand Questions Regarding Biomolecular Homochirality in the Originand Evolution of Life

The book:

  • celebrates the scientific research contributions andcareers of R. Stephen Berry, Stuart A. Rice and Joshua Jortner
  • contributes to the only series available that presents thecutting edge of research in chemical physics
  • includes contributions from experts in this field ofresearch
  • structured with an editorial framework that makes the book anexcellent supplement to an advanced graduate class in physicalchemistry or chemical physics
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About the author

AARON R. DINNER received his bachelor’s degree anddoctorate from Harvard University, after which he conductedpostdoctoral research at the University of Oxford and theUniversity of California, Berkeley. He joined the faculty at TheUniversity of Chicago in 2003.

STUART A. RICE received his master’s degree anddoctorate from Harvard University and was a junior fellow atHarvard for two years before joining the faculty of The Universityof Chicago in 1957, where he is currently the Frank P. HixonDistinguished Service Professor Emeritus.

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Additional Information

Publisher
John Wiley & Sons
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Published on
Nov 6, 2014
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781118959619
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Language
English
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Genres
Science / Chemistry / Physical & Theoretical
Science / Life Sciences / Biophysics
Technology & Engineering / Chemical & Biochemical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"This is science writing as wonder and as inspiration." —The Wall Street Journal

Wall Street Journal

From one of the most influential scientists of our time, a dazzling exploration of the hidden laws that govern the life cycle of everything from plants and animals to the cities we live in.

Visionary physicist Geoffrey West is a pioneer in the field of complexity science, the science of emergent systems and networks. The term “complexity” can be misleading, however, because what makes West’s discoveries so beautiful is that he has found an underlying simplicity that unites the seemingly complex and diverse phenomena of living systems, including our bodies, our cities and our businesses.

Fascinated by aging and mortality, West applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer. The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the riotous diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. Furthermore, the efficiency of the mammal’s circulatory systems scales up precisely based on weight: if you compare a mouse, a human and an elephant on a logarithmic graph, you find with every doubling of average weight, a species gets 25% more efficient—and lives 25% longer. Fundamentally, he has proven, the issue has to do with the fractal geometry of the networks that supply energy and remove waste from the organism’s body.

West’s work has been game-changing for biologists, but then he made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability. Cities, too, are constellations of networks and laws of scalability relate with eerie precision to them. Recently, West has applied his revolutionary work to the business world. This investigation has led to powerful insights into why some companies thrive while others fail. The implications of these discoveries are far-reaching, and are just beginning to be explored. Scale is a thrilling scientific adventure story about the elemental natural laws that bind us together in simple but profound ways. Through the brilliant mind of Geoffrey West, we can envision how cities, companies and biological life alike are dancing to the same simple, powerful tune.
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