Nobel Prize in Physics for Complex Systems Research

Oct. 5, 2021

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics 2021 to Giorgio Parisi, Syukuro Manabe and Klauss Hasselmann “for groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of complex physical systems”. This year’s Laureates have all contributed to us gaining deeper insight into the properties and evolution of complex physical systems” states Thors Hans Hansson, chair of the Nobel Committee for Physics.

First half of the prize was was awarded to Syukuro Manabe (Princeton University), originally from Japan, and Klaus Hasselmann (Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, Germany) “the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming.”

The second half of the prize was awarded to Giorgio Parisi (Sapienza University of Rome, Italy) of Italy for “the discovery of the interplay of disorder and fluctuations in physical systems from atomic to planetary scales”. 

Parisi´s  discoveries are among the most important contributions to the theory of complex systems. They make it possible to understand and describe many different and apparently entirely random materials and phenomena, not only in physics but also in other, very different areas, such as mathematics, biology, neuroscience and machine learning. Parisi has said that most of his research has dealt with how simple behaviours give rise to complex collective behaviours, and this applies to both spin glasses and starlings.

As a research centre in cross-disciplinary physics and complex systems, IFISC congratulates the three award winners and takes this opportunity to highlight the value of research in Complex Systems transgressing the boundaries that separate scientific disciplines. 


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