The new branch of science which will reveal how to avoid the rush hour, overcome cancer, and find the perfect date
What do traffic jams, stock market crashes, and wars have in common? They are all explained using complexity, an unsolved puzzle that many researchers believe is the key to predicting – and ultimately solving—everything from terrorist attacks and pandemic viruses right down to rush hour traffic congestion.
Complexity is considered by many to be the single most important scientific development since general relativity and it promises to make sense of no less than the very heart of the Universe. Using it, scientists can find order emerging from seemingly random interactions of all kinds, from something as simple as flipping coins through to more challenging problems such as the patterns in modern jazz, the growth of cancer tumours, and predicting shopping habits.
Neil Johnson is the head of a new inter-disciplinary research group in Complexity at University of Miami in Florida. Previously he was Professor of Physics and co-director of research collaboration into Complexity at Oxford University.
"Johnson's book fills a long-overdue need for an engaging semipopular book about complexity science, one that is also strong on the underlying scientific and theoretical concepts." "Highly recommended."
"Neil Johnson has provided a readable account of the science of complexity"
– Oxford Times
"This is a wonderful book, simultaneously deep and highly readable. It provides unexpected insights into a wild array of subjects ranging from jazz to traffic jams to war."
– Michael Spagat - Professor of Economics, Royal Holloway College, University of London
'It's lucidly explained, engagingly written and constantly surprising: complexity made simple!'
– Philip Ball
"An excellent introduction to complexity -- a branch of science that every one of us in our time should be aware of."
– Pak Ming Hui - Professor of Physics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong