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[en] This book by Nino Boccara presents a compilation of model systems commonly termed as 'complex'. It starts with a definition of the systems under consideration and how to build up a model to describe the complex dynamics. The subsequent chapters are devoted to various categories of mean-field type models (differential and recurrence equations, chaos) and of agent-based models (cellular automata, networks and power-law distributions). Each chapter is supplemented by a number of exercises and their solutions. The table of contents looks a little arbitrary but the author took the most prominent model systems investigated over the years (and up until now there has been no unified theory covering the various aspects of complex dynamics). The model systems are explained by looking at a number of applications in various fields. The book is written as a textbook for interested students as well as serving as a comprehensive reference for experts. It is an ideal source for topics to be presented in a lecture on dynamics of complex systems. This is the first book on this 'wide' topic and I have long awaited such a book (in fact I planned to write it myself but this is much better than I could ever have written it!). Only section 6 on cellular automata is a little too limited to the author's point of view and one would have expected more about the famous Domany-Kinzel model (and more accurate citation!). In my opinion this is one of the best textbooks published during the last decade and even experts can learn a lot from it. Hopefully there will be an actualization after, say, five years since this field is growing so quickly. The price is too high for students but this, unfortunately, is the normal case today. Nevertheless I think it will be a great success! (book review)

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DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/37/40/B01; Available online at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Book review of 'Modeling Complex Systems' by N Boccara, Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag (2004), 397pp, ISBN 0-387-40462-7; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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[en] This addendum states the relationship between our recent paper and Mackay et al's work on the negative refraction in gyrotropic chiral media, and emphasizes the advantages of their work that we did not mention in our recent paper. (addendum)

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S0305-4470(06)32221-4; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/39/15057/a6_48_013.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 39(48); p. 15057

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AbstractAbstract

[en] The aim of relativistic quantum mechanics is to describe the finer details of the structure of atoms and molecules, where relativistic effects become nonnegligible. It is a sort of intermediate realm, between the familiar nonrelativistic quantum mechanics and fully relativistic quantum field theory, and thus it lacks the simplicity and elegance of both. Yet it is a necessary tool, mostly for quantum chemists. Pilkuhn's book offers to this audience an up-to-date survey of these methods, which is quite welcome since most previous textbooks are at least ten years old. The point of view of the author is to start immediately in the relativistic domain, following the lead of Maxwell's equations rather than classical mechanics, and thus to treat the nonrelativistic version as an approximation. Thus Chapter 1 takes off from Maxwell's equations (in the noncovariant Coulomb gauge) and gradually derives the basic aspects of Quantum Mechanics in a rather pedestrian way (states and observables, Hilbert space, operators, quantum measurement, scattering,. Chapter 2 starts with the Lorentz transformations, then continues with the Pauli spin equation and the Dirac equation and some of their applications (notably the hydrogen atom). Chapter 3 is entitled 'Quantum fields and particles', but falls short of treating quantum field theory properly: only creation/annihilation operators are considered, for a particle in a box. The emphasis is on two-electron states (the Pauli principle, the Foldy--Wouthuysen elimination of small components of Dirac spinors, Breit projection operators. Chapter 4 is devoted to scattering theory and the description of relativistic bound states. Chapter 5, finally, covers hyperfine interactions and radiative corrections. As we said above, relativistic quantum mechanics is by nature limited in scope and rather inelegant and Pilkuhn's book is no exception. The notation is often heavy (mostly noncovariant) and the mathematical level rather low. The central topic is the description of atoms and molecules, including relativistic effects. The author fulfils this program in a reasonable way and offers a valuable tool to the targeted audience. I am not overly enthusiastic about the end result, but I might be prejudiced. Clearly, going further would require the full power of quantum field theory, but this is clearly beyond the scope of the book. (book review)

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DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/37/4/B01; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/37/1463/a4_4_b01.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Book review of Relativistic Quantum Mechanics by H M Pilkuhn, 2003 Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 3-540-43666-9; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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AbstractAbstract

[en] This is a book about the modelling of complex systems and, unlike many books on this subject, concentrates on the discussion of specific systems and gives practical methods for modelling and simulating them. This is not to say that the author does not devote space to the general philosophy and definition of complex systems and agent-based modelling, but the emphasis is definitely on the development of concrete methods for analysing them. This is, in my view, to be welcomed and I thoroughly recommend the book, especially to those with a theoretical physics background who will be very much at home with the language and techniques which are used. The author has developed a formalism for understanding complex systems which is based on the Langevin approach to the study of Brownian motion. This is a mesoscopic description; details of the interactions between the Brownian particle and the molecules of the surrounding fluid are replaced by a randomly fluctuating force. Thus all microscopic detail is replaced by a coarse-grained description which encapsulates the essence of the interactions at the finer level of description. In a similar way, the influences on Brownian agents in a multi-agent system are replaced by stochastic influences which sum up the effects of these interactions on a finer scale. Unlike Brownian particles, Brownian agents are not structureless particles, but instead have some internal states so that, for instance, they may react to changes in the environment or to the presence of other agents. Most of the book is concerned with developing the idea of Brownian agents using the techniques of statistical physics. This development parallels that for Brownian particles in physics, but the author then goes on to apply the technique to problems in biology, economics and the social sciences. This is a clear and well-written book which is a useful addition to the literature on complex systems. It will be interesting to see if the use of Brownian agents becomes a standard tool in the study of complex systems in the future. (book review)

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DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/36/49/B05; Available online at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Book review of 'Brownian Agents and Active Particles: Collective Dynamics in the Natural and Social Sciences' by F Schweitzer, 2003 Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 3-540-43938-2; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(49); p. 12348

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[en] The discovery of the geometric phase is one of the most interesting and intriguing findings of the last few decades. It led to a deeper understanding of the concept of phase in quantum mechanics and motivated a surge of interest in fundamental quantum mechanical issues, disclosing unexpected applications in very diverse fields of physics. Although the key ideas underlying the existence of a purely geometrical phase had already been proposed in 1956 by Pancharatnam, it was Michael Berry who revived this issue 30 years later. The clarity of Berry's seminal paper, in 1984, was extraordinary. Research on the topic flourished at such a pace that it became difficult for non-experts to follow the many different theoretical ideas and experimental proposals which ensued. Diverse concepts in independent areas of mathematics, physics and chemistry were being applied, for what was (and can still be considered) a nascent arena for theory, experiments and technology. Although collections of papers by different authors appeared in the literature, sometimes with ample introductions, surprisingly, to the best of my knowledge, no specific and exhaustive book has ever been written on this subject. The Geometric Phase in Quantum Systems is the first thorough book on geometric phases and fills an important gap in the physical literature. Other books on the subject will undoubtedly follow. But it will take a fairly long time before other authors can cover that same variety of concepts in such a comprehensive manner. The book is enjoyable. The choice of topics presented is well balanced and appropriate. The appendices are well written, understandable and exhaustive - three rare qualities. I also find it praiseworthy that the authors decided to explicitly carry out most of the calculations, avoiding, as much as possible, the use of the joke 'after a straightforward calculation, one finds...' This was one of the sentences I used to dislike most during my undergraduate studies. A student is inexperienced in such matters and needs to look at details. This book is addressed to graduate physics and chemistry students and was written thinking of students. However, I would recommend it also to young and mature physicists, even those who are already 'into' the subject. It is a comprehensive work, jointly written by five researchers. After a simple introduction to the subject, the book gradually provides deeper concepts, more advanced theory and finally an interesting introduction and explanation of recent experiments. For its multidisciplinary features, this work could not have been written by one single author. The collaborative effort is undoubtedly one of its most interesting qualities. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more on the geometric phase, a topic that is both beautiful and intriguing. (book review)

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DOI: 10.1088/0305-4470/36/49/B01; Available online at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Book review of 'The Geometric Phase in Quantum Systems' by A Bohm, A Mostafazadeh, H Koizumi, Q Niu and J Zwanziger, 2003 Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, ISBN 3-540-00031-3; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(49); p. 12345

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AbstractAbstract

[en] In our recently published paper 'Chaos in Bohmian quantum mechanics' we criticized a paper by Parmenter and Valentine (1995 Phys. Lett. A 201 1), because the authors made an incorrect calculation of the Lyapunov exponent in the case of Bohmian orbits in a quantum system of two uncoupled harmonic oscillators. After our paper was published, we became aware of an erratum published by the same authors (Parmenter and Valentine 1996 Phys. Lett. A 213 319) that recognized the error made in their previous calculations. The authors realized that, when correctly calculated, 'aperiodic trajectories with well defined boundaries...have vanishing Lyapunov exponents', i.e., they are not chaotic. We want to supplement our paper with a reference to this erratum. The generic calculation of Lyapunov exponents in Bohmian quantum systems remains an original contribution of our paper (section 2). (addendum)

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S0305-4470(06)23031-2; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/39/8563/a6_26_021.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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AbstractAbstract

[en] We consider atoms interacting with each other through the topological structure of a complex network and investigate lattice vibrations of the system, the quanta of which we call netons for convenience. The density of neton levels, obtained numerically, reveals that unlike a local regular lattice, the system develops a gap of finite width, manifesting extreme rigidity of the network structure at low energies. Two different network models, the small-world network and the scale-free network, are compared: the characteristic structure of the former is described by an additional peak in the level density whereas a power-law tail is observed in the latter, indicating excitability of netons at arbitrarily high energies. The gap width is also found to vanish in the small-world network when the connection range r = 1

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S0305-4470(03)58190-2; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/36/6329/a32304.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(23); p. 6329-6336

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[en] The factorization problem for the group of canonical transformations close to the identity and the corresponding twistor equations for an ample family of canonical variables are considered. A method to deal with these reductions is developed for the construction of classes of nontrivial solutions of the dKP equation

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S0305-4470(03)56315-6; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/36/6457/a32311.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(23); p. 6457-6472

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Mukunda, N; Aravind, P K; Simon, R

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560 064 (India)2003

Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research, Jakkur, Bangalore 560 064 (India)2003

AbstractAbstract

[en] The concept of the 'Wigner rotation', familiar from the composition law of (pure) Lorentz transformations, is described in the general setting of Lie group coset spaces and the properties of coset representatives. Examples of Abelian and non-Abelian Wigner rotations are given. The Lorentz group Wigner rotation, occurring in the coset space SL(2, R)/SO(2) ≅ SO(2, 1)/SO(2), is shown to be an analytic continuation of a Wigner rotation present in the behaviour of particles with nonzero helicity under spatial rotations, belonging to the coset space SU(2)/U(1) ≅ SO(3)/SO(2). The possibility of interpreting these two Wigner rotations as geometric phases is shown in detail. Essential background material on geometric phases, Bargmann invariants and null phase curves, all of which are needed for this purpose, is provided

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S0305-4470(03)56727-0; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/36/2347/a30912.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(9); p. 2347-2370

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[en] The Δ ≠ 1 generalization of the q-symmetrized Harper equation is discussed in terms of wavefunctions expressed by Laurent series. Proceeding by recursion leads to a nontrivial Δ-dependent generalization of the characteristic energy polynomial, with a special emphasis on a continuous dependence on the commensurability parameter. The multiplicity parameter which is responsible for the amount of coprime realizations of the commensurability parameter is also accounted for. The present energies have been derived so as to reproduce particular ones obtained before as limiting cases

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S0305-4470(03)37728-5; Available online at http://stacks.iop.org/0305-4470/36/2077/a30806.pdf or at the Web site for the Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General (ISSN 1361-6447) http://www.iop.org/; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

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Journal of Physics. A, Mathematical and General; ISSN 0305-4470; ; CODEN JPHAC5; v. 36(8); p. 2077-2086

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