Histophysics (Physics of History)

Histophysics is the new discipline orignated by Lui Lam in 2002. It is about the physics of history, a branch of the larger multidiscipline called Scimat (Science Matters). 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.

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).

By treating history as part of science, quantitative laws in Chinese history were discovered, which was first reported in my article "Active Walks: The first twelve Years (Part II)," Int. J. Bifurcation and Chaos (2006); summarized in Chapter 13, "Human history" (2008); and expanded in my epl paper, "Bilinear effect in complex systems" (2010). See Documents here.


Talk's ppt

  • History (Lam's talk at Renmin University, Summer 2016)