Fifty years of ‘More is different’

Steven Strogatz, Sara Walker, Julia M. Yeomans, Corina Tarnita, Elsa Arcaute, Manlio De Domenico, Oriol Artime & Kwang-Il Goh 
Nature Reviews Physics (2022)

August 1972 saw the publication of Philip Anderson’s essay ‘More is different’. In it, he crystallized the idea of emergence, arguing that “at each level of complexity entirely new properties appear” — that is, although, for example, chemistry is subject to the laws of physics, we cannot infer the field of chemistry from our knowledge of physics. Fifty years on from this landmark publication, eight scientists describe the most interesting phenomena that emerge in their fields.

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