Health | Quésaco: the “theory of complex systems”, which won the Nobel Prize for physicist Giorgio Parisi

(ETX Daily Up) – Tuesday, October 5, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three scientists for their work related to the study of climate. Among the laureates, the Italian Giorgio Parisi, 73, awarded for his contribution to the theory of complex physical systems. What is this scientific concept and what role does it play in understanding climate?

After publishing a thesis on the Higgs Boson in the 1970s, the Italian physicist Giorgio Parisi specialized in the research of complex physical systems, in particular static physics and fundamental particles.

“Around 1980, Giorgio Parisi discovered hidden patterns in disordered complex materials. His findings are among the most important contributions to the theory of complex systems. They allow us to understand and describe many different and apparently totally random materials and phenomena, not only in physics but also in other very different fields, like math, biology, neuroscience and machine learning “, explains a statement of the Nobel Foundation.

Clearly, Giorgio Parisi has contributed to developing models and tools aimed at better predicting the behavior of systems operating chaotically and therefore by definition difficult to predict. One of the most famous subjects of study of the Nobelized Italian is that starling flights, which analyzes how birds move in a colony, in order to determine to what extent the speed fluctuations of different birds are correlated with each other.

But it is for the systems helping to understand the climate that the physicist was rewarded. More precisely for “the discovery of the interaction of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems, from the atomic scale to the planetary scale”, can we read on the official website of the Nobel Prize.

“Parisi has developed a paradigm that goes beyond condensed matter. His theories can be applied to all scales: glass, brain, finance, bird flight, glaciers and much more,” explained to the scientific journal Nature Enzo Marinari, physicist and researcher at the University of Rome (Sapienza), who co-wrote more than 100 scientific papers with Giorgio Parisi.

The other two Nobel Prize winners in physics are the Japanese-American Syukuro Manabe and the German Klaus Hasselmann, aged 90 and 89 respectively and awarded for work in the physical modeling of climate change. A distinction as prestigious as it is necessary at a time when the alarm of the climate emergency is ringing louder than ever.

Lea Drouelle


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