CDM² Researcher: Statistical Physics can help Predict Market Crashes and Solve Traffic Jams


Sergey Abaimov’s book “Statistical Physics of Non-Thermal Phase Transitions” addresses the question how we can build analogies between statistical physics and such phenomena as earthquakes, snow-avalanches and landslides, failure of engineering structures, and economical crises. Understanding of this question might allow us to develop techniques to prevent these catastrophes

A new monograph authored by CDM² Senior Researcher Sergey Abaimov addresses the question of applicability of statistical physics to non-thermal complex systems and phenomena.

The monograph is devoted to the comparison of thermal and non-thermal systems. As an example of a thermodynamic system an Ising model is generally discussed while the considered non-thermal systems are represented by percolation and damage phenomena. Step-by-step, from the equation of state to the free energy potential, from correlations to the susceptibility, from the mean-field approach to the renormalization group, these systems are compared and it is found that not only are the rules of behavior similar but also, what is even more important, the methods of solution. The Reader will see that, developing the concept of susceptibility or building the renormalization group, although each time one begins with a particular system considered, the foundation of an approach is always based on the formalism of statistical physics and is, therefore, system independent.

The monograph is the product of 10 years of research conducted by the author at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Penn State University, and University of California (Davis) as well as of 5 years of teaching the courses of lectures at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology and at the Department of Theoretical Physics of Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. These courses are the parts of the PhD Educational Programs of these Universities.

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