Complexity and non-linear physics research at the University of Houston studies a wide range of interdisciplinary problems involving complex systems. These are systems that consist of many autonomous parts and have dynamics that emerge from the interactions of those parts, so that they behave in ways that cannot be discerned simply from the behavior of the isolated parts. There are many important examples: for instance, biological cells, ecosystems, the Internet, flames, sandpiles, vehicular traffic, and financial and economic markets.
As physicists, our interest is in identifying and understanding the features that complex systems have in common and determining what the universal laws are that govern their behavior. Often these laws describe the scaling properties of the system and the patterns or structures that they form.
Research groups in the department that study complex systems include those of Professor Kevin E. Bassler, Professor Seamus Curran, Professor Gemunu H. Gunaratne, and Professor George F. Reiter.