Scale invariance and universality: organizing principles in complex systems

H. E. Stanley*, L. A N Amaral, P. Gopikrishnan, P. Ch Ivanov, T. H. Keitt, V. Plerou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


This paper is a brief summary of a talk that was designed to address the question of whether two of the pillars of the field of phase transitions and critical phenomena - scale invariance and universality - can be useful in guiding research on a broad class of complex phenomena. We shall see that while scale invariance has been tested for many years, universality is relatively more rarely discussed. In particular, we shall develop a heuristic argument that serves to make more plausible the universality hypothesis in both thermal critical phenomena and percolation phenomena, and suggest that this argument could be developed into a possible coherent approach to understanding the ubiquity of scale invariance and universality in a wide range of complex systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)60-68
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 15 2000
Event5th Taiwan International Symposium on Statistical Physics (StatPhys-Taiwan-1999) - Taipei, Taiwan
Duration: Aug 9 1999Aug 12 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability


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