Condensed Matter Physics Seminar

2 p.m., Thursday, November 11, 2004
Room 1201, Physics Building

 The Dynamics of Conformity & Dissent

Timothy Halpin-Healy

(Physics Department, Columbia University)

Abstract:  Nature is ripe with dynamical aggregation phenomena, in which an initially homogeneous collection of weakly interacting particles fragment, disperse, and coalesce. Condensation and droplet formation is, of course, a well-known example in physics, galaxy formation and clustering another. The formation of swarms, schools, herds, or even the flocking of birds provide compelling zoological illustrations. Rich stochastic behavior, as well as phase transition phenomena, are evident in different evolutionary minority (e.g., El Farol Bar), public goods, and other societal selection games, such as the Seceder Model, which introduces a novel dynamical frustration via the competing tendencies to be distinct, yet part of the group. The Seceder Model reveals that an iterative microscopic mechanism favoring dissent, yet permitting conformity, cannot only lead to the genesis of distinct groups, but also yields an abundant diversity of cluster-forming dynamics. In this talk, we will discuss population fragmentation, ideological symmetry-breaking and nonlinear group dynamics characteristic of this intriguing model.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 258103 (2003).


Host:  Einstein
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