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Last updated: 06.23.2005.

 

Challenges to Contemporary Physics turns to Econophysics and Sociophysics

Nikolay K. Vitanov, Zlatinka Dimitrova, Stojcho Panchev

Abstract

            One hundred years after publishing of the first results on the relativity theory and eighty years after the establishing of the quantum mechanics physics turns to regions of the complex systems research which up to now have been reserved for the economics and sociology. This is not a surprise because the ideas of the physics have influenced the social sciences since the times of Gallileo and Newton. We discuss selected episodes from the history of development of ideas about the society as a complex system. We start from Plato and continue with the influence of Gallileo on Thomas Hobbs and of Isaak Newton on John Locke and Adam Smith. We finish with the ideas of Schumpeter about the influence of innovations on the society. After short excursion to the begining of the application of modern methods of physics to social sciences by Galam and to economics by Bachelier we concentrate our attention to a concrete complex system, namely on the development of human populations. In order to establish a sense about the complexity of this system we discuss the demographic transition starting from the ideas of Thomas Robert Malthus and emphasizing on the theory of Caldwell. Next we discuss several of the principles of Ravenstein about the migration as well as the phenomenon called structure inflation which to a large extent is responsible for the strange situation in the western societies where a large amount of resident people are jobless and nevertheless there are many jobs for legal or illegal migrants. Our next discussion poit is concentrated about the scientific and technological aspects of the human society. We discuss the ideas of Alfred Lotka on populations as energy transformers and turn to the social and technical invention capacity of the society. After counting some population dynamics models we discuss in more details the Zipf hypothesis about migration between two geographic regions. We finish with the place of the science in the society and emphasize on the need of more investigation of social and economic processes by means of the modern methods of mathematics, econophysics and sociophysics

   
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