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Statistical Physics (SP) has followed an unusual evolutionary path in science. Originally aiming to provide a fundamental basis for another important branch of Physics, namely Thermodynamics, SP gradually became an independent field of research in its own right. But despite more than a century of steady progress, there are still plenty of challenges and open questions in the SP realm.

In fact, the area is still rapidly evolving, in contrast to other branches of science, which already have well defined scopes and borderlines of applicability. This difference is due to the steadily expanding number of applications, as well as ongoing improvements and revisions of concepts and methods in SP. Such particular aspects of SP lend further significance and timeliness to this book about perspectives and trends within the field.

Here, the aim is to present the state-of-the-art vision of expert researchers who study SP and Complex Systems. Although a comprehensive treatment is well beyond what can be treated in a single volume, the book provides a snapshot of the field today, as well as a glimpse of where the field may be heading during the next decade.

The book is aimed at graduate and advanced undergraduate physics students, as well as researchers who work with SP, Complex Systems, Computational Physics, Biological Physics and related topics. It addresses questions such as: What insights can be gained from recent advances in the study of traditional problems in SP? How can SP help us understand problems that arise in the biological sciences and in the study of complex systems? How can new problems be formulated using the ‘language’ of SP? In this way, it attempts to document partial progress in answering these and related questions.

The book also commemorates the occasion of the 70th anniversary in 2011 of two important physicists and friends who dedicated their lives to the understanding of nature in general and to the development of Statistical Physics and the science of Complexity in particular: Liacir Lucena and H Eugene Stanley.

  • Further Advances in the Analysis of Traditional Problems in Statistical Physics:
    • Comparing Methods and Monte Carlo Algorithms at Phase Transition Regimes: A General Overview (C E Fiore)
    • Density of States of the Ising Model in the Field (B D Stošić)
    • A Renormalization Group Study of the Three-Color Ashkin-Teller Model on a Wheatstone Hierarchical Lattice (R Teodoro, C G Bezerra, A M Mariz, F A da Costa and J M de Araújo)
    • Applying Virial Theorem in Continuous Potential of Two Scales (N M Barraz Jr and M C Barbosa)
    • Elementary Statistical Models for Nematic Transitions in Liquid-Crystalline Systems (D B Liarte & S R Salinas)
    • Phase Diagram and Layer-Thinning Transitions in Free-Standing Liquid Crystal Films (M S S Pereira, I N de Oliveira and M L Lyra)
    • On Some Experimental Reasons for an Inhomogeneous Structure of Ambient Water on the Nanometer Length Scale (F Mallamace, C Corsaro and C Vasi)
    • Polyamorphism and Polymorphism of a Confined Water Monolayer: Liquid-Liquid Critical Point, Liquid-Crystal and Crystal-Crystal Phase Transitions (V Bianco, O Vilanova and G Franzese)
  • New Insights into Traditional Problems in Statistical Physics:
    • Topological and Geometrical Aspects of Phase Transitions (F A N Santos, J A Rehn and M D Coutinho-Filho)
    • Pacman Percolation and the Glass Transition (R Pastore, M P Ciamarra and A Coniglio)
    • Exact Solution for a Diffusive Process on a Backbone Structure: Green Function Approach and External Force (E K Lenzi, L R da Silva, A A Tateishi, M K Lenzi and H V Ribeiro)
    • Multifractal Surfaces: Lucena and Stanley Approaches (G Corso and D A Moreira)
  • Applications to Biological Problems:
    • Nanoelectronics of a DNA Molecule (E L Albuquerque, U L Fulco, E W S Caetano, V N Freire, M L Lyra and F A B F Moura)
    • Magic Trees in Mammalians Respiration or When Evolution Selected Clever Physical Systems (B Sapoval and M Filoche)
    • Social Distancing Strategies Against Disease Spreading (L D Valdez, C Buono, P A Macri and L A Braunstein)
  • Non-Traditional Problems Related to Complex Systems:
    • Thermodynamics and Kinetic Theory of Granular Materials (G M Kremer)
    • Continuous and First-Order Jamming Transition in Crossing Pedestrian Traffic Flows (H J Hilhorst, J Cividini and C Appert-Rolland)
    • Multiplicative Processes in Visual Cognition (H F Credidio, E N Teixeira, S D S Reis, A A Moreira and J S Andrade Jr)
    • Search Strategy: Hedging Your Bet (M F Shlesinger)

Readership: Advanced undergraduates, graduate students, researchers, academics and professionals in statistical physics, complex systems and nonlinear science.
Key Features:
  • This is the only book which brings together topics as diverse as water, random searches, percolation, and traffic
  • No similar titles with such diversity of themes available in the market
  • Most of the contributors are already well known in their fields

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