San Jose State University :: Faculty & Staff Web Pages: Lui Lam's Home Page


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Histophysics (Physics of History)

Histophysics is the new discipline orignated by Lui Lam in 2002. It is about the physics of history and a branch of the larger discipline called "Science Matters" (see In fact, human history is the most important discipline of study. The complex system under study in history is a many-body system consisting of Homo sapiens—a (biological) material system. Consequently, history is a legitimate branch of science, since science is the study of Nature which includes all material systems. A historical process, expressed in the physics language, is the time development of a subset of or the whole system of Homo sapiens that happened during a time period of interest in the past. History is therefore the study of the past dynamics of this system. Historical processes are stochastic, resulting from a combination of contingency and necessity. By treating history as part of science, quantitative laws in Chinese history were discovered. The first paper on histophysics was published in 2002 ("Histophysics: A New Discipline"). The recent review is "Human History: A Science Matter," Chapter 13 in the book "Science Matters: Humanities as Complex Systems" (World Scientific, 2008).