Pointillism: Explore Emergence

See how more is different and pointillism illustrates emergence via the Gestalt principle of proximity. Explore The Emergent Universe, an online interactive science museum.

More is Different

It's All About Zoom

To understand this image zoom in.

Wow. This image is made up entirely of dots; yet each dot alone tells us nothing about the whole picture. How do these dots create an image? To see zoom part way out.

By zooming to intermediate magnifications, we begin to see that it is where each dot is placed relative to the others, that is, it is the relationship between the dots (or parts) that creates the image (the whole).

Resources

Scale (Zoom)

Visual illustrations of what a factor of ten really means: http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/scienceopticsu/powersof10/

Another set of visual illustrations of what a factor of ten really means: http://www.vendian.org/mncharity/cosmicview/pages/page06.html

More is Different

M. Resnick, Turtles, Termites, and Traffic Jams: Explorations in Massively Parallel Microworlds (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 1997), pp. 12-17, 30–35.

S. H. Strogatz, Sync: The Emerging Science of Spontaneous Order (Theia, NY, 2003).

K. Kelly, Out of Control: The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1994), Chp. 2: Hive Mind. http://www.kk.org/outofcontrol/ch2-a.html

P. W. Anderson, More is Different, Science 177, 393-396 (1972). http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/reprint/177/4047/393

Search Terms

powers of ten, emergent phenomena AND length scale

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