Wednesday 16th October 6.00pm (NZDT). Live from the University of Canterbury, Lecture 8 in the 10x10 series - The Power of Nature. While trying to understand complex systems such as ecosystems, landforms, social networks or seismic activity, scientists have to deal with uncertainty and chaos.
However, one recurrent pattern appears to be ubiquitous: the power law. This is where a relative change in one quantity gives a proportional relative change in another. For example, the frequency of earthquakes varies with their intensity, so there are a large numbers of smaller quakes but, fortunately, only a few ‘big ones’. While there are many fundamentally different mechanisms in complex systems such as self-organisation, feedback loops or chaotic dynamic systems that can give such behaviour, it is still a mystery why nature would choose to follow this pattern.
In this talk, Dr Baeumer will present many examples and some conjectures and results that use the power law pattern to build better models.