Towards a description of complexity (physics)

Towards a Description of (Physical) Complexity
seminar from group Science, Reason and Faith.
Diego Maza. Pamplona, February 23rd, 2023

Diego Maza is professor of Physics and Applied Mathematics in the School of Sciences of the University of Navarra. He is also professor tutor and director of final works of Degree at UNED. Among his lines of research are: Chaos and Nonlinear Dynamics and Complex Fluids. He started almost two decades ago the laboratory of the University in Granular Media. Important experiments of basic interest and potential industrial applications have been carried out there. He has a large issue of publications in specialized journals and a long career professor. He has also been interested in the epistemic aspects of his scientific work and, in particular, in the meaning and nature of complexity in the physical world. This notion has aroused special interest in recent years because of its implications for the way in which we account for the order we find in Nature.

Synergy, criticality, self-organization, etc. are just some of the names with which the world of science faces the challenge of dealing with complex systems. In general, the very concept of complexity is elusive and lacks a universally accepted definition, which has not prevented the existence of a large issue of metrics that attempt to quantify it. However, the internship totality of these approaches are inspired, when they are not a direct consequence, of formal tools introduced to study systems in equilibrium, which, by definition, are the antithesis of what they pretend to describe. This seminar aims to review some of the paradigmatic problems associated with the concept of "complex system", introducing a critical evaluation about the epistemological challenges involved in an accurate description of the experimental evidence and the conclusions drawn from it.