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Self-Organized Criticality by Henrik Jeldtoft Jensen

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6

Is It SOC or Not?

Ever since the term “self-organized criticality” was introduced by Bak, Tang, and Wiesenfeld (BTW) in their 1987 paper for Physical Review Letters, the concept has been surrounded by a hectic air of controversy. There are a number of reasons for this. One reason is the bold and optimistic claims that were made. The attitude was that here finally is a line of thinking that will allow us to bring the statistical physics of Boltzmann and Gibbs in touch with the exciting real world of nonequilibrium physics, and that SOC is powerful enough to explain everything from mountain formation to stock-market variation. Super- general theories always meet a certain amount of skepticism from expert scien- tists working in the specific fields. ...

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