• Dr Philip Ball
  • Paul Ormerod


Philip Ball traces the development of statistical physics, first proposed by James Clerk Maxwell and Ludwig Boltzman and shows how its principles can be used to understand human systems. He shows how rules of interaction between agents can give rise to such phenomena as phase change and self organised criticality and looks at the use of such models for understanding traffic states and the evolution of business organisations, as well as other social science issues such as the effect of social forces on marriage. Paul Ormerod looks at models used to tackle racial segregation, financial markets and crime studies and suggests how powerful insights into the aggregate properties of human organisations can be gained using quite simple agent characterisation and rules of interaction.


  1. SeminarMarch03.pdf