Sociophysics

Sociophysics (books)
Some of the main recent books in sociophysics: Canadian political scientist Paris Arnopoulos' 1993 Sociophysics; the 2006 Econophysics and Sociophysics, with chapters by German physicist Jurgen Mimkes, e.g. “A Thermodynamic Formulation of Social Science”; French physicist Serge Galam's 2012 Sociophysics; and the 2012 Econophysics, with an end chapter by Romanians economist and econophysicist Gheorghe Savoiu and physicist and sociophysicist Ion Siman’s entitled “Sociophysics: A New Science or a New Domain for Physicists in a Modern University”, both outline the newly growing science of sociophysics. [8] The last two are Sen Parongama and Bikas Chakrabarti's Sociophysics book and Curtis Blakely's 2015 Socio-Physics, focused on penology. [17]
In human physics, sociophysics, a near synonym to "social physics", is the study of social phenomena from a physics perspective, often using the human atom, social atom, or human particle perspective. The subject seems to deal with thermodynamics in part; albeit, the majority of theories in this field seem to be on statistical extrapolations or phase transition models.

Recent | Interest
The following histograms show the number of papers with the word “society” or “social” appearing in the title or abstract of papers published in the American Physical Society (AIP) and in physics papers section of the preprint archive (arXiv) since 1995, according to Indian sociophysicists Sen Parongama and Bikas Chakrabarti (2013): [17]

social (in physics)

Social physics
The term "sociophysics", in the historical "big picture" context, such as chronologically summarized on the HP pioneers page, seems to be put a late 20th century upgrade to the older 19th century “social physics” of thinkers including: Henri de Saint-Simon (1817), Adolphe Quetelet (1835), Auguste Comte (1842), and Henry Carey (1858), who were all viewing people as atoms or in some cases, such as with Carey, atoms or molecules, depending.

The 2009 book Sociology Theory in Classical Era specifically defines Comte as the “father of social physics”. [7]

Sociophysics
A recent The-Difference-Between.com “sociophysics” and “physics” summary. (Ѻ)
Sociophysics | Coining
In circa 1950, American astrophysicist and engineer John Q. Stewart, with grant funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, launched the Princeton University Department of Social Physics; though, at this point, Stewart vacillated between "social mechanics" and "social physics".

In 1974, American physicist Arthur Iberall, in his Bridges in Science: from Physics to Social Science, stated the following: [12]

“It is the possible development of theory (e.g., kinetic theory or sociophysics) and practice (e.g., social engineering) that may be useful for men.”

In the 1970s, French physicist Serge Galam claims to have begun working in the field of sociophysics, as a "hobby" along side of this regular physics duties. In his 2012 talk “Celebrating Thirty Years of Sociophysics: Can It Become a Predictive Tool?”, Galam states that sociophysics "initiated in 1982”, though this seems to be in relation to his own work. [11]

In 2004, Galem commented on the resistance he has faced in working to bridge or meld physics and sociology over the last last few decades: [1]

“To suggest that humans could behave like atoms was looked upon as a blasphemy to both hard science and human complexity, a total nonsense, something to be condemned. And it has been indeed condemned during the last fifteen years.”

In 1993, Canadian political scientist Paris Arnopoulos and his 1993 book Sociophysics, in which he speculates on heat, pressure, temperature, entropy, and volumes of societies. [3]

Social Ising Model 2
A diagram from Serge Galam’s 2011 workshop talk “From Mr. Ising to the Wonderful World of Sociophysics” extolling on the notion that the Ising model (left) of electron spin alignment (magnetic field direction uniformity) behaviors can be applied to models of human behavior alignments, e.g. political view alignment uniformity, a classic type of "social physics" (e.g. Ball, Buchanan) or "sociophysics" (e.g. Galam) argument. [10]
In 2012, Galam published his first Sociophysics book, the abstract of which is as follows: [6]

Do humans behave much like atoms? Sociophysics, which uses tools and concepts from the physics of disordered matter to describe some aspects of social and political behavior, answers in the affirmative. But advocating the use of models from the physical sciences to understand human behavior could be perceived as tantamount to dismissing the existence of human free will and also enabling those seeking manipulative skills.

This thought-provoking book argues it is just the contrary. Indeed, future developments and evaluation will either show sociophysics to be inadequate, thus supporting the hypothesis that people can primarily be considered to be free agents, or valid, thus opening the path to a radically different vision of society and personal responsibility. This book attempts to explain why and how humans behave much like atoms, at least in some aspects of their collective lives, and then proposes how this knowledge can serve as a unique key to a dramatic leap forwards in achieving more social freedom in the real world. At heart, sociophysics and this book are about better comprehending the richness and potential of our social interaction, and so distancing ourselves from inanimate atoms.

Here we see Galem outlining a social atom or human atom approach to the application of physics to sociology; and in his "but" comment, see a defensiveness commonly seen in regard to the amount of "attack" one will experience whenever socio-physics, socio-chemistry, or socio-thermodynamics formulation is attempted (see: objection to), which is odd being that France is the most non-religious country in regards to belief systems.

In 2016, Slovenian (Ѻ) biotechnology researcher Bojan Keevill (Ѻ), in his “Sociophysics: the Last Science”, after believing that he had coined the term "sociophysics", but finding that he had not, blogged a decent historical overview of sociophysics. (Ѻ)


Serge Galam ns


vs.
Dietrich Stauffer
In 2000, a vicarious "paternity" of sociophysics debate erupted, of sorts, between French physicist Serge Galam and German physicist Dietrich Stauffer; the tensions of which still exist as of 2012; a debate that is a bit vacuous being that (a) French philosopher Auguste Comte is already classified as the "father of social physics" and (b) American physicist John Q. Stewart ran an entire social physics group at Princeton a half a century prior to either of them . [6]
Galem-Stauffer | Paternity tensions
In 2000, at an international conference on “Economic Dynamics from the Physicist’s Point of View” at Bad-Honnef, Germany, Galam was drinking a beer with American Eugene Stanley, coiner the term “econophysics” (1995), who had knew Galam since the 1970s; during which time Stanley commented that Galam was indeed the “father of sociophysics”.

In 2003, however, German physicist Dietrich Stauffer gave a talk in Poland on sociophysics, during which Galam’s contributions were totally ignored. This “pissed off” Galem, as he says in his 2012 Sociophysics book section 3.12 Claiming the Paternity of Sociophysics, after which he wrote his frank article “Sociophysics: a Personal Testimony”, in which he provided details about his claim to paternity of sociophysics, over that of other supposed originators of sociophysics, such as Thomas Schelling. [6]

Polish physicist Krzysztof Kulakowski, in his 2007 chapter “Around the Gap between Sociophysics and Sociology”, defines Galem as “one of the leading authors in sociophysics”. [4]

Conferences
See main: Sociophysics conferences
In 2002, Germany began hosting the first econophysics conferences; followed by similar conferences in: Poland (2004), Romania (2008), Italy (2008), and France (2011).

Taiwan
In 2015, Taiwan International Graduate Program (Ѻ), was offering a 3-credit elective course in sociophysics.

Quotes
The following are related quotes:

Sociophysics uses some methods and concepts coming from physics to describe certain social and political behaviors. Galam’s sociophysics study the existing knowledge thanks to methods borrowed from statistical physics. Because sociophysics compares the behavior of people with the behavior of atomic particles, it is not an exact science.”
— Christophe Thovex and Francky Trichet (2012) [9]

See also
Social chemistry
Socio-thermodynamics
Sociological thermodynamics

Galam sociophysics
Left: poster to French physicist Serge Galam’s 2011 conference talk “Sociophysics: do Humans Behave Like Atoms?”, focused on the subject of opinion dynamics. [5] Right: diagram of French physicist Serge Galam’s 1970s-2012 renegade experience of being a physicist having to practice sociophysics as a hobby, alongside his regular physics duties, the way normal physicists play tennis, so as to not disturb the orthodoxy of academia, from his chapter section 3.5: More About Academic Freedom. [6]
References
1. Galam, Serge. (2004). “Sociophysics: a Personal Testimony.”, Laboratory of Heterogeneous and Disorderly Environments, Paris. Arxiv.org.
2. Sociophysics – International Workshop, ISI Foundation, Torino, Italy, 26-29 May 2008.
3. Arnopoulos, Paris. (2005). Sociophysics: Cosmos and Chaos in Nature and Culture (thermics, pgs. 26-31). Nova Publishers, 1993 first edition.
4. Kulakowski, Krzysztof. (2007). “Around the Gap between Sociophysics and Sociology” (abs), Prepared for the book 'Lectures on Socio- and Econophysics' after the Summer School on Socio-Econo-Physics 2007 in Windberg.
5. Galem, Serge. (2011). “Sociophysics: do Humans Behave Like Atoms?”, CREA, Paris, November 14-16.
6. Galam, Serge. (2012). Sociophysics: A Physicist’s Modeling of Psycho-Political Phenomena (§3.12 Claiming the Paternity of Sociophysics, pgs. 61-63). Springer.
7. Edles, Laura D. and Appelrouth, Scott. (2009). Sociology Theory in Classical Era (pg. 97). Pine Forge Press.
8. (a) Chakrabarti, Bikas K. Chakraborti, Anirban, and Chatterjee, Arnab. (2006). Econophysics and Sociophysics: Trends and Perspectives. Wiley-VCH.
(b) Savoiu, Gheorghe. (2012). Econophysics: Background and Applications in Economics, Finance, and Sociophysics (§10: Sociophysics: A New Science or a New Domain for Physicists in a Modern University, pgs. 149-65). American Institute of Physics.
(c) Gheorghe Savoiu (publications) – Ideas.Repec.org.
(d) Iorga Ion Siman (Romanian → English) – Google Academic.
9. (a) Thovex, Christophe and Trichet, Francky. (2012). “Skills Networks and Professional Social Networks Analysis: From Social Networks Analysis to Predictive Knowledge Analysis”, in: Exploratory Analysis in Dynamic Social Networks: Theoretical and Practical Applications (editors: Charlos Pinheiro and Markus Helfert) (§3, pgs. 31-58). CreateSpace.
(b) Galam, Serge. (2012). “Sociophysics: a Review of Galam Models”, International Journal of Modern Physics, C19(3):409-40.
10. Galam, Serge. (2011). “From Mr. Ising to the Wonderful World of Sociophysics” (abs), 14th Annual Workshop on Phase Transitions and Critical Phenomena, Apr 12-14, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv.
11. Galam, Serge. (2012). “Celebrating Thirty Years of Sociophysics: Can It Become a Predictive Tool?” (abs), AMSS lecture, Dec 12.
12. Iberall, Arthur. (1974). Bridges in Science: from Physics to Social Science (pg. 278). General Technical Services.
13. Anon. (2004). “First Polish Symposium on Econo- and Sociophysics”, Programme and Book of Abstracts, Warsaw University, Nov 19-20.
14. Anon. (2009). “4th FENS Symposium” (abs), Institute of Physics, University of Rzeszow, Poland, Man 7-9, 2009.
15. (a) FENS (Polish → English) – Polish Physical Society.
(b) FENS (2012) (Polish → English) – Polish Physical Society.
16. Manocha, S.K. (2009). Geography Work Book (social physics, pgs. 161, 171). Pearson Education India.
17. Parongama, Sen and Chakrabarti, Bikas K. (2013). Sociophysics: an Introduction (histogram, pg. 4). Oxford University Press.
133
A 2009 social physics (sociophysics) style homework problems, in Geography Work Book, identifying American physicist John Q. Stewart as the initiator of the field of social physics or socio-physics as the field came to be called into the 1980s. [16]

Further reading
● Chakrabarti, Bikas K. Chakraborti, Anirban, and Chatterjee, Arnab. (2006). Econophysics and Sociophysics: Trends and Perspectives. Wiley-VCH.
● Blakely, Curtis R. (2010). “Sub-atomic Particles and Prisoners: A Novel Examination of Socio-Physics and Penology”, International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences, 5(2): 264-74.
● Galam, Serge. (2012). “Sociophysics: Weaknesses, Achievements, and Challenges” (abs), Understanding Complex Systems, 69-90.

Threads
PhD in sociophysics (2012) – LinkedIn.

External links
Socio-physics – Net Advance of Physics.
Sociophysics (scholars) – Google Scholars.
What is the future of sociophysics? (2015) – Quora.com.

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