New Horizons in Science

presented by

Crashing markets, power blackouts and sudden death: The physics of a networked world

Topic: Network Science
Sunday, November 3, 2013 -
9:30am to 10:30am
Century Ballroom B

Massive power outages, global financial crashes and sudden death in the elderly are all startling and befuddling events. To Gene Stanley, they're unavoidable shocks in an interconnected world, where interdependencies between networks create dangerous vulnerabilities. Stanley and his colleagues have uncovered new laws that show why everyday fluctuations in one network can trigger abrupt failures across coupled networks. They've found that the rapid switching typical of financial networks produces features analogous to phase transitions in physics. Furthermore, market moves that economists call "rare events" turn out to have the same statistical properties as everyday fluctuations. Recently, the group has applied these principles to Google query data and found early warning signs of market changes.


About CASW

The Council for the Advancement of Science Writing is committed to improving the quality and quantity of science news reaching the public. Directed and advised by distinguished journalists and scientists, CASW develops and funds programs that encourage accurate and informative writing about developments in science, technology, medicine and the environment.

Follow CASW