The Physics of Complex Systems






'Life is not a flame' - Arthur Iberall



Homeokinetics is the study of complex systems, such as universes, galaxies, social systems, people, or even those that seem as simple as gases. The entire universe consists of atomistic-like units bound in interactive ensembles to form systems, level by level in a nested hierarchy. Homeokinetics treats all complex systems on an equal footing, animate and inanimate, providing them with a common viewpoint. The complexity in studying how they work is reduced by the emergence of common languages in all complex systems.

What is it and who uses it?

 Iberall's Homeokinetic's Video

Arthur Iberall (1918-2002), who with Warren McCulloch (1898-1969) and Harry Soodak (1920-2008), developed the concept of homeokinetics as a new branch of physics.  It began through Iberall's biophysical research for the NASA exobiology program into the dynamics of mammalian physiological processes. In 1981, Iberall was invited to the Crump Institute for Medical Engineering of UCLA, where he further refined the key concepts of homeokinesis, developing a physical scientific foundation for complex systems' systems of nature, life, human, mind, and society.

Scientists using homeokinetics debate their own disciplines with each other in the context of a theoretical framework of systems science, with an emphasis on viable or self-organizing systems. They pay attention to physics (with its conservations of energy, mass, and momentum), chemistry (with its making and breaking of bonds), and to general 'input-output' schemes. Emergence within each field is a topic that intrigues them all.

Scientists using homeokinetics approach to their own discipline include:

Richard Baum Professor of Political Science, UCLA
Frank L. Hassler Retired Director, Office of Transport & Information Resources, Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Rudolfo Llinás  Professor of Physiology and Biophysics, New York University School of Medicine
William Mace Professor of Psychology, Trinity College
Alexander Moore Professor of Anthropology, University of Southern California
Michael Turvey Professor of Psychology, University of Connecticut
Douglas White Professor of Anthropology, University of California at Irvine
David Wilkinson Professor of Political Science, UCLA


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