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GLOSSARY
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Schema

Another name for cerebrally stored and recalled information and experiences.

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Whereby heat cannot pass from cooler to warmer. A statement that as energy does work it is converted to and lost as waste entropy.

Self-Organization

The emergence of order in a complex system from the collective interactions of many autonomous members without external direction.

Self-Organized Criticality

The state that exists when a complex system is poised at a critical point between too much order or destructive anarchy.

Semiotics

The philosophical study of communication through the use of signs, notations and their signification.

Singularity

A term used for the instant point of origin of the universe, also known as the big bang. Also for a radical break or event in time.

Statistical Mechanics

Mathematical procedures for dealing with large numbers of items in a dynamic system such as molecules in a gas or stars in a galaxy.

Stochastic

Any process characterized by random variables or probabilities.

String Theory

A quantum physics hypothesis that the universe, at its most fundamental level, is composed of infinitesimal vibrating loops, rather than point-like particles such as quarks.

Superposition

A principle from quantum physics which claims that the state of a particle is not directly knowable because it may be in many possible states or configurations simultaneously, as long as we don't look to check. It is the measurement that causes the object to be limited to a single possibility.

Symbiosis

The process by which several biological or societal components come together to mutual advantage.

Synapse

The junction between nerve cells across which an impulse is transmitted.

Synergetics

A version of complexity science founded by Hermann Haken which employs a more physically based theory of ubiquitous self-organizing, emergent systems.

Synergy

When two or more components reinforce each other to produce a greater result than their sum.

Syntax

In grammar, rules and principles for ordering words into clauses and sentences.