From Being to Becoming: Time and Complexity in the Physical Sciences


How has order emerged from chaos? In this book, intended for the general reader with some background in physical chemistry and thermodynamics, Ilya Prigogine shows how systems far from equilibrium evolve elaborate structures: patterns of circulation in the atmosphere, formation and propagation of chemical waves, the aggregation of single-celled animals. In an effort to understand these phenomena, he explores the philosophical implications of the work for which he received the 1977 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. From Being to Becoming explains how order can develop and offers a new approach to the asymmetry between past and future—the irreversibility of time. Prigogine presents an evolving rather than static world. This imaginative work is sure to arouse controversy and may change the way that the reader sees the laws of science and the world that those laws seek to explain.

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