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Physics for the Birds

Giorgio Parisi lecture at ICTP looks at complex, disordered systems

Giorgio Parisi, the prominent Italian theoretical physicist, delivered a lecture at ICTP on "The collective behaviour of large numbers of flying birds: The case of Sturnus vulgari."

Parisi, professor of Quantum Theories at the University of Rome I, La Sapienza, has been studying flocks of starlings to try to determine how complex collective behaviours arise from elements that each have simple behaviours. His other main research efforts have focussed on elementary particles, theory of phase transitions and statistical mechanics, mathematical physics and string theory, and disordered systems (spin glasses). He is the recipient of several prestigious science honours, including the Dirac Medal and the Boltzmann Medal.

The lecture took place on Thursday 28 January 2010.


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