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is a Chinese
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...
A physicist is a scientist who studies or practices physics. Physicists study a wide range of physical phenomena in many branches of physics spanning all length scales: from sub-atomic particles of which all ordinary matter is made to the behavior of the material Universe as a whole...
and professor at the University of California at San Francisco.
In 1987, as a post-doctoral research scientist in the Solid State Theory Group of Brookhaven National Laboratory
Brookhaven National Laboratory , is a United States national laboratory located in Upton, New York on Long Island, and was formally established in 1947 at the site of Camp Upton, a former U.S. Army base...
, he and another fellow post-doctoral scientist, Kurt Wiesenfeld
Kurt Wiesenfeld is an American physicist working primarily on non-linear dynamics. His works primarily concern stochastic resonance, spontaneous synchronization of coupled oscillators, and non-linear laser dynamics...
, along with their mentor, Per Bak
Per Bak was a Danish theoretical physicist who coauthored the 1987 academic paper that coined the term "self-organized criticality."- Life and work :...
, presented new ideas in group organization with a concept they coined self-organized criticality
In physics, self-organized criticality is a property of dynamical systems which have a critical point as an attractor. Their macroscopic behaviour thus displays the spatial and/or temporal scale-invariance characteristic of the critical point of a phase transition, but without the need to tune...
in their paper in Physical Review Letters
Physical Review Letters , established in 1958, is a peer reviewed, scientific journal that is published 52 times per year by the American Physical Society...
The first discovered example of a dynamical system displaying such self-organized criticality was named after them as the Bak-Tang-Wiesenfeld "sandpile"
In physics, the Bak–Tang–Wiesenfeld sandpile model is the first discovered example of a dynamical system displaying self-organized criticality and is named after Per Bak, Chao Tang and Kurt Wiesenfeld....