How Nature Works

by Per Bak

Book Reviews

  • Self organized criticality- The snowmobiler's death marks the latest in a series of deadly avalanches that have killed 29 people across the US this winter. The deadliest avalanche years occurred in 2008 and 2010, when there were 36 avalanche fatalities. to Tweet
  • When people ask me for papers and books that have influenced how I think and act I tend to forget the work of Per Bak. That's an error on my part. "How Nature Works: The Science of Self-Organised Criticality." to Tweet

About Book

Self-organized criticality, the spontaneous development of systems to a critical state, is the first general theory of complex systems with a firm mathematical basis. This theory describes how many seemingly desperate aspects of the world, from stock market crashes to mass extinctions, avalanches to solar flares, all share a set of simple, easily described properties. "...a'must read'...Bak writes with such ease and lucidity, and his ideas are so intriguing...essential reading for those interested in complex will reward a sufficiently skeptical reader." -NATURE "...presents the theory (self-organized criticality) in a form easily absorbed by the non-mathematically inclined reader." -BOSTON BOOK REVIEW "I picture Bak as a kind of scientific musketeer; flamboyant, touchy, full of swagger and ready to join every fray... His book is written with panache. The style is brisk, the content stimulating. I recommend it as a bracing experience." -NEW SCIENTIST