Abstract:
A brief outline is given of the description of phase transition kinetics in condensed matter systems with a continuous symmetry, emphasising the roles of dissipation, coarse-graining and scaling. The possible relevance of these ideas to the early universe is explored in the contexts of the GUT string transition and the electroweak transition.

Abstract:
I present empirical evidence that turbulent flows are closely analogous to critical phenomena, from a reanalysis of friction factor measurements in rough pipes. The data collapse found here corresponds to Widom scaling near critical points, and implies that a full understanding of turbulence requires explicit accounting for boundary roughness.

Abstract:
We present a simple model of the emergence of the division of labor and the development of a system of resource subsidy from an agent-based model of directed resource production with variable degrees of trust between the agents. The model has three distinct phases, corresponding to different forms of societal organization: disconnected (independent agents), homogeneous cooperative (collective state), and inhomogeneous cooperative (collective state with a leader). Our results indicate that such levels of organization arise generically as a collective effect from interacting agent dynamics, and may have applications in a variety of systems including social insects and microbial communities.

Abstract:
We discuss two distinct analogies between turbulence and field theory. In one analogue, the field theory has an infrared attractive renormalization-group fixed point and corresponds to critical phenomena. In the other analogue, the field theory has an ultraviolet attractive fixed point, as in quantum chromodynamics.

Abstract:
We use analytic and numerical methods to analyze the dynamics of vortices following the quench of a Type-II superconductor under the application of an external magnetic field. In three dimensions, in the absence of a field, the spacing between vortices scales with time t with an exponent phi=0.414 +/- 0.01, In a thin sheet of superconductor, the scaling exponent is phi=0.294 +/- 0.01. When an external magnetic field h is applied, the vortices are confined with respect to the length scale of the Abrikosov lattice, leading to a crossover between the power-law scaling length scale and the lattice length scale. From this we suggest a one-parameter scaling of dr/dt with h and r that is consistent with numerical data.

Abstract:
We use momentum transfer arguments to predict the friction factor $f$ in two-dimensional turbulent soap-film flows with rough boundaries (an analogue of three-dimensional pipe flow) as a function of Reynolds number Re and roughness $r$, considering separately the inverse energy cascade and the forward enstrophy cascade. At intermediate Re, we predict a Blasius-like friction factor scaling of $f\propto\textrm{Re}^{-1/2}$ in flows dominated by the enstrophy cascade, distinct from the energy cascade scaling of $\textrm{Re}^{-1/4}$. For large Re, $f \sim r$ in the enstrophy-dominated case. We use conformal map techniques to perform direct numerical simulations that are in satisfactory agreement with theory, and exhibit data collapse scaling of roughness-induced criticality, previously shown to arise in the 3D pipe data of Nikuradse.

Abstract:
We study the predictability of emergent phenomena in complex systems. Using nearest neighbor, one-dimensional Cellular Automata (CA) as an example, we show how to construct local coarse-grained descriptions of CA in all classes of Wolfram's classification. The resulting coarse-grained CA that we construct are capable of emulating the large-scale behavior of the original systems without accounting for small-scale details. Several CA that can be coarse-grained by this construction are known to be universal Turing machines; they can emulate any CA or other computing devices and are therefore undecidable. We thus show that because in practice one only seeks coarse-grained information, complex physical systems can be predictable and even decidable at some level of description. The renormalization group flows that we construct induce a hierarchy of CA rules. This hierarchy agrees well with apparent rule complexity and is therefore a good candidate for a complexity measure and a classification method. Finally we argue that the large scale dynamics of CA can be very simple, at least when measured by the Kolmogorov complexity of the large scale update rule, and moreover exhibits a novel scaling law. We show that because of this large-scale simplicity, the probability of finding a coarse-grained description of CA approaches unity as one goes to increasingly coarser scales. We interpret this large scale simplicity as a pattern formation mechanism in which large scale patterns are forced upon the system by the simplicity of the rules that govern the large scale dynamics.

Abstract:
Using elementary cellular automata (CA) as an example, we show how to coarse-grain CA in all classes of Wolfram's classification. We find that computationally irreducible (CIR) physical processes can be predictable and even computationally reducible at a coarse-grained level of description. The resulting coarse-grained CA which we construct emulate the large-scale behavior of the original systems without accounting for small-scale details. At least one of the CA that can be coarse-grained is irreducible and known to be a universal Turing machine.

Abstract:
We present a new phase-field model of solidification which allows efficient computations in the regime when interface kinetic effects dominate over capillary effects. The asymptotic analysis required to relate the parameters in the phase-field with those of the original sharp interface model is straightforward, and the resultant phase-field model can be used for a wide range of material parameters.

Abstract:
We calculate analytically the dynamic critical exponent $z_{MC}$ measured in Monte Carlo simulations for a vortex loop model of the superconducting transition, and account for the simulation results. In the weak screening limit, where magnetic fluctuations are neglected, the dynamic exponent is found to be $z_{MC} = 3/2$. In the perfect screening limit, $z_{MC} = 5/2$. We relate $z_{MC}$ to the actual value of $z$ observable in experiments and find that $z \sim 2$, consistent with some experimental results.