Didier Sornette

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Didier Sornette
Didier Sornette.png
Born (1957-06-25) June 25, 1957 (age 58)
Paris, France
Residence Switzerland
Nationality France
Fields Physics, geophysics, complex systems, economics, finance
Institutions Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich,
Swiss Finance Institute,
Alma mater Ecole Normale Supérieure,
University of Nice
Known for Prediction of crises and extreme events in complex systems, physics of complex systems and pattern formation in spatio-temporal structures
Notable awards Science et Défence French National Award,
2000 Research McDonnell award,
Risques-Les Echos prize 2002 for Predictability of catastrophic events

Didier Sornette (born June 25, 1957 in Paris) is Professor on the Chair of Entrepreneurial Risks at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). He is also a professor of the Swiss Finance Institute, a professor associated with both the department of Physics and the department of Earth Sciences at ETH Zurich, an Adjunct Professor of Geophysics at IGPP and ESS at UCLA. He was previously jointly a Professor of Geophysics at UCLA, Los Angeles California and a Research Director on the theory and prediction of complex systems at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

In 2004, Sornette used Amazon.com sales data to create a mathematical model for predicting bestseller potential based on very early sales results.[1][2]

He has worked on the King effect,[3][4] a theory used to predict economic bubbles, and has set up the "Financial Crisis Observatory".[5] He has developed the dragon king theory.


  • Scale invariance and beyond" (with B. Dubrulle and F. Graner, eds.), EDP Sciences and Springer, Berlin, 1997, 286 pages.
  • Why Stock Markets Crash (Critical Events in Complex Financial Systems) Princeton University Press, 2003. ISBN 0-691-09630-9
  • Critical Phenomena in Natural Sciences, Chaos, Fractals, Self-organization and Disorder: Concepts and Tools, Second edition, Springer Series in Synergetics, Heidelberg, 2004. ISBN 3-540-40754-5
  • Extreme Financial Risks (From dependence to risk management) (with Y. Malevergne). Springer, Heidelberg, 2005.
  • Theory of Zipf's law and beyond (with A. Saichev and Y. Malevergne), Lecture Notes in Economics and Mathematical Systems, Volume 632, Springer (November 2009), ISBN 978-3-642-02945-5
  • Man-made Catastrophes and Risk Information Concealment (25 case studies of major disasters and human fallibility) (with Dmitry Chernov). Springer, 1st ed. 2016 edition (October 28, 2015) (342 pages), DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-24301-6, Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-24299-6, eBook ISBN 978-3-319-24301-6


  1. ^ Sornette, D., Deschatres, F., Gilbert, T., Ageon, Y, Endogenous Versus Exogenous Shocks in Complex Networks: an Empirical Test Using Book Sale Ranking, Physical Review Letters 2004
  2. ^ "Researchers use physics to analyze dynamics of bestsellers". PhysOrg.com: December 5, 2004. Retrieved December 7, 2005.
    "UCLA Physicist Applies Physics to Best-Selling Books". UCLA News: December 1, 2004. Retrieved December 7, 2005.
  3. ^ D. Sornette, Dragon-Kings, Black Swans and the Prediction of Crises, International Journal of Terraspace Science and Engineering 2009
  4. ^ Sornette, D., Ouillon, G., Dragon-kings: Mechanisms, statistical methods and empirical evidence, The European Physical Journal Special Topics, 2012
  5. ^ "Didier Sornette: How we can predict the next financial crisis". TED. June 2013. Retrieved 19 June 2013. 

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