The universe is not a rigid clockwork, but neither is it formless and random. Instead, it is filled with highly organized, evolved structures that have somehow emerged from simple rules of physics. Examples range from the structure of galaxies to the pattern of ripples on windblown sand, to biological and even social processes. These phenomena exist in spite of the universal tendency towards disorder. How is this possible? Self-organization challenges the usual reductionistic scientific method, and begs the question of whether we can ever really understand or predict truly complex systems.
PHY101H1 is primarily intended as a Breadth Requirement course for students in the Humanities and Social Sciences.