Fluctuations and Order

The New Synthesis

  • Mark Millonas

Part of the Institute for Nonlinear Science book series (INLS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. M. I. Dykman, D. G. Luchinsky, R. Mannella, P. V. E. McClintock, N. D. Stein, N. G. Stocks
    Pages 11-33
  3. N. G. Stocks, N. D. Stein, H. E. Short, R. Mannella, D. G. Luchinsky, P. V. E. McClintock et al.
    Pages 53-67
  4. L. E. Reichl, P. Alpatov
    Pages 69-80
  5. Emil Simiu, Michael Frey
    Pages 81-90
  6. Michail Zak, Alexander Zak, Ronald Meyers
    Pages 91-107
  7. Mark I. Dykman, Mark M. Millonas, Vadim N. Smelyanskiy
    Pages 121-137
  8. Katja Lindenberg, Panos Argyrakis, Raoul Kopelman
    Pages 171-203
  9. D. D. Vvedensky, A. Zangwill, C. N. Luse, C. Ratsch, P. Šmilauer, M. R. Wilby
    Pages 205-223
  10. E. F. Shender, P. C. W. Holdsworth
    Pages 259-279
  11. L. Lam, M. C. Veinott, D. A. Ratoff, R. D. Pochy
    Pages 281-292
  12. Frank Schweitzer, Lutz Schimansky-Geier
    Pages 293-305
  13. Marcelo O. Magnasco
    Pages 307-320
  14. Charles S. Peskin, Vivian Lombillo, George Oster
    Pages 321-329
  15. André Longtin, Karin Hinzer
    Pages 343-358
  16. A. R. Bulsara
    Pages 359-396
  17. Joseph P. Zbilut, Alfred Hübler, Charles L. Webber Jr.
    Pages 397-417
  18. B. L. Hu, A. Matacz
    Pages 429-454
  19. Back Matter
    Pages 455-455

About this book


The volume that you have before you is the result of a growing realization that fluctuations in nonequilibrium systems playa much more important role than was 1 first believed. It has become clear that in nonequilibrium systems noise plays an active, one might even say a creative, role in processes involving self-organization, pattern formation, and coherence, as well as in biological information processing, energy transduction, and functionality. Now is not the time for a comprehensive summary of these new ideas, and I am certainly not the person to attempt such a thing. Rather, this short introductory essay (and the book as a whole) is an attempt to describe where we are at present and how the viewpoint that has evolved in the last decade or so differs from those of past decades. Fluctuations arise either because of the coupling of a particular system to an ex­ ternal unknown or "unknowable" system or because the particular description we are using is only a coarse-grained description which on some level is an approxima­ tion. We describe the unpredictable and random deviations from our deterministic equations of motion as noise or fluctuations. A nonequilibrium system is one in which there is a net flow of energy. There are, as I see it, four basic levels of sophistication, or paradigms, con­ cerning fluctuations in nature. At the lowest level of sophistication, there is an implicit assumption that noise is negligible: the deterministic paradigm.


Nonlinear system bifurcation blood cell clustering deterministic chaos dynamical systems dynamics electrophysiology mathematics physiology system temperature

Editors and affiliations

  • Mark Millonas
    • 1
  1. 1.The James Franck InstituteUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer-Verlag New York 1996
  • Publisher Name Springer, New York, NY
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-1-4612-8463-5
  • Online ISBN 978-1-4612-3992-5
  • Series Print ISSN 1431-4673
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
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