Working Group on Computational Complexity, Entropy and Statistical Physics

Working Group Meeting: December 12 - 13, 2001

Public Workshop: December 14, 2001

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Building, Rutgers University

Michael Fredman, Rutgers University,
Joel Lebowitz, Rutgers University,
János Komlós, Rutgers University, Presented under the auspices of the Special Focus on Mathematics and Foundations of Computer and Information Science
and the Special Focus on Computational Information Theory and Coding.

The working group and workshop will explore some underlying connections between biology, computational complexity, discrete mathematics ,dynamical systems and statistical physics. All these disciplines use in one way or another something called entropy, a word first introduced by Rudolf Clausius in 1865 when he enunciated his famous two laws:

1.The energy of the universe stays constant
2.The entropy of the universe always increases.

But just what is entropy? It is frequently said that entropy is a measure of disorder, and while this needs many qualifications and clarifications it does represent something essential about it. We hope that by comparing the uses of entropy in these very different contexts we will be able to gain new insights into some universal aspects common to all of them.

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Document last modified on October 2, 2001.