Emergent Phenomena in Science and Everyday Life

Product type
Logo Coursera (CC)
Provider rating: starstarstarstar_halfstar_border 6.6 Coursera (CC) has an average rating of 6.6 (out of 5 reviews)

Need more information? Get more details on the site of the provider.

Description

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Before the advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, most scientists believed that it should be possible to predict the behavior of any object in the universe simply by understanding the behavior of its constituent parts. For instance, if one could write down the equations of motion for every atom in a system, it should be possible to solve those equations (with the aid of a sufficiently large computing device) and make accurate predictions about that system’s future. However, there are some systems that defy this notion. Consider a living cell, which consists mostly of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with other trace elements. We can study these compo…

Read the complete description

Frequently asked questions

There are no frequently asked questions yet. If you have any more questions or need help, contact our customer service.

When you enroll for courses through Coursera you get to choose for a paid plan or for a free plan

  • Free plan: No certicification and/or audit only. You will have access to all course materials except graded items.
  • Paid plan: Commit to earning a Certificate—it's a trusted, shareable way to showcase your new skills.

About this course: Before the advent of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, most scientists believed that it should be possible to predict the behavior of any object in the universe simply by understanding the behavior of its constituent parts. For instance, if one could write down the equations of motion for every atom in a system, it should be possible to solve those equations (with the aid of a sufficiently large computing device) and make accurate predictions about that system’s future. However, there are some systems that defy this notion. Consider a living cell, which consists mostly of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen along with other trace elements. We can study these components individually without ever imagining how combining them in just the right way can lead to something as complex and wonderful as a living organism! Thus, we can consider life to be an emergent property of what is essentially an accumulation of constituent parts that are somehow organized in a very precise way. This course lets you explore the concept of emergence using examples from materials science, mathematics, biology, physics, and neuroscience to illustrate how ordinary components when brought together can collectively yield unexpected, surprising behaviors. Note: The fractal image (Sierpinkski Triangle) depicted on the course home page was generated by a software application called XaoS 3.4, which is distributed by the Free Software Foundation under a GNU General Public License. Upon completing this course, you will be able to: 1. Explain the difference in assumptions between an emergent versus reductive approach to science. 2. Explain why the reductivist approach is understood by many to be inadequate as a means of describing and predicting complex systems. 3. Describe how the length scale used to examine a phenomenon can contribute to how you analyze and understand it. 4. Explain why the search for general principles that explain emergent phenomena make them an active locus of scientific investigation. 5. Discuss examples of emergent phenomena and explain why they are classified as emergent.

Created by:  University of California, Irvine
  • Taught by:  Michael Dennin, Professor of Physics and Astronomy; Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning

    Physics; Office of Teaching and Learning
  • Taught by:  Jun Allard, Assistant Professor

    Mathematics
  • Taught by:  Donald Saari, UCI Distinguished Professor of Economics and Mathematics

    Economics; Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences
  • Taught by:  Andrea Nicholas, Lecturer PSOE

    Neurobiology & Behavior
  • Taught by:  Fred Y.M. Wan, Professor

    Mathematics
  • Taught by:  Siddharth A. Parameswaran, Assistant Professor

    Physics and Astronomy
Language English How To Pass Pass all graded assignments to complete the course. User Ratings 4.3 stars Average User Rating 4.3See what learners said Coursework

Each course is like an interactive textbook, featuring pre-recorded videos, quizzes and projects.

Help from your peers

Connect with thousands of other learners and debate ideas, discuss course material, and get help mastering concepts.

Certificates

Earn official recognition for your work, and share your success with friends, colleagues, and employers.

University of California, Irvine Since 1965, the University of California, Irvine has combined the strengths of a major research university with the bounty of an incomparable Southern California location. UCI’s unyielding commitment to rigorous academics, cutting-edge research, and leadership and character development makes the campus a driving force for innovation and discovery that serves our local, national and global communities in many ways.

Syllabus


WEEK 1


Welcome - Let's Get Started
In this module we'll introduce the concept of emergence and provide an orientation to how this course will proceed.


3 videos, 3 readings expand


  1. Reading: Welcome Message
  2. Reading: Course Overview
  3. Reading: Thank you to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center!
  4. Video: Video Introduction: Concept of Emergence
  5. Video: Video Introduction: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Part 1
  6. Video: Video Introduction: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Part 2


WEEK 2


The Mystery of Foam
Can a substance be both a solid and a liquid? In this module we’ll take a close look at our first emergent phenomena, complex fluids.


4 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Module Overview
  2. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Complex Fluids
  3. Video: Video: The Mystery of Foam
  4. Video: Video: Foam and Sand
  5. Video: Video: Sand Demonstration
  6. Reading: Further Reading: Emergent Phenomena

Graded: Module 2 Quiz
Graded: Outrageous Ooze

WEEK 3


Chaotic Dynamics
Are seemingly random events truly random? In this module, we'll examine ways that deterministic processes can produce the appearance of randomness.


7 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Module Overview
  2. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Chaos Part 1
  3. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Chaos Part 2
  4. Video: Video: Introduction to Chaotic Dynamics
  5. Video: Video: What causes chaotic behavior?
  6. Video: Video: The principles of chaotic dynamics
  7. Video: Video: Chaotic Dynamics and Fractals
  8. Reading: Further Reading: Web Resources on Chaotic Dynamics and Fractals
  9. Video: Video: Don Saari Interview

Graded: Module 3 Quiz
Graded: Fractal Assignment

WEEK 4


Pattern Formation and Systems Biology
Have you ever wondered why tigers have spots and leopards have spots? This module helps to explain how these and other patterns form in nature.


8 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Module Overview
  2. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Pattern Formation Part 1
  3. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Pattern Formation Part 2
  4. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Pattern Formation Part 3
  5. Video: Video: Patterns in One Dimension
  6. Video: Video: Turing
  7. Video: Video: How Plants Grow
  8. Reading: Further Reading: Web Resources on Biological Pattern Formation
  9. Video: Video: Fred Wan Interview
  10. Video: Video: Jun Allard Interview

Graded: Module 4 Quiz
Graded: Biological Pattern Formation and Reaction-Diffusion Interactions

WEEK 5


Quantum Coherence, Many-Body States, and Quantum Computing
How can we study quantum events from both a reductionist and emergent perspective? This module takes a look at the atomic and quantum level of some everyday phenomena.


6 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Module Overview
  2. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Quantum Mechanics
  3. Video: Video: Introduction to Emergence
  4. Video: Video: Describing Emergence
  5. Video: Video: Fractionalization Part 1
  6. Video: Video: Fractionalization Part 2
  7. Reading: Further Reading: Reductionism, Entropy, and Randomness
  8. Video: Video: Siddharth Parameswaran Interview

Graded: Module 5 Quiz

WEEK 6


Consciousness
One of the most awe inspiring emergent phenomena is how consciousness emerges from complex collections of atoms and molecules. In this module, we’ll take a look at how the various regions of our brain coordinate and interact to produce consciousness.


3 videos, 2 readings expand


  1. Reading: Module Overview
  2. Video: Video: Reuben H. Fleet Science Center - Consciousness
  3. Video: Video: Fields of Consciousness
  4. Reading: Further Reading: Web Resources on Consciousness
  5. Video: Video: Andrea Nicholas Interview

Graded: Module 6 Quiz
Graded: The Mystery of Consciousness - A Hard Problem?
There are no reviews yet.

Share your review

Do you have experience with this course? Submit your review and help other people make the right choice. As a thank you for your effort we will donate $1.- to Stichting Edukans.

There are no frequently asked questions yet. If you have any more questions or need help, contact our customer service.