Portal:Systems science

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The Systems Science Portal

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Complex systems approach

Systems are sets of entities, physical or abstract, comprising a whole where each component interacts with or is related to at least one other component and they all serve a common objective. The scientific research field which is engaged in the interdisciplinary study of universal system-based properties of the world is general system theory, systems science and recently systemics. This field investigates the abstract properties of matter and mind, and their organization, searching for concepts and principles which are independent of the specific domain, substance, and type of system, and of the spatial and/or temporal scales of its existence.

Systems science can be viewed as ... "a metalanguage of concepts and models for interdisciplinary use, still now evolving and far from being stabilized. This is the result of a slow process of accretion through inclusion and interconnection of many notions, which came and are still coming from very different disciplines. The process started more than a century ago, but has gathered momentum since 1948 through the pioneering work of Norbert Wiener, John von Neumann, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, Heinz von Foerster and W. Ross Ashby, among many others" (Charles François, 1999).

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Major features of the Solar System (not to scale)

The Solar System consists of the Sun and the other celestial objects gravitationally bound to it: the eight planets, their 165 known moons, three dwarf planets (Ceres, Eris, and Pluto) and their four known moons, and billions of small bodies. This last category includes asteroids, Kuiper belt objects, comets, meteoroids, and interplanetary dust.

In broad terms, the charted regions of the Solar System consist of the Sun, four terrestrial inner planets, an asteroid belt composed of small rocky bodies, four gas giant outer planets, and a second belt, called the Kuiper belt, composed of icy objects. Beyond the Kuiper belt lies the scattered disc, the heliopause, and ultimately the hypothetical Oort cloud.

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Visualization of a portion of the routes on the Internet.

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Eberhardt Rechtin.jpg

Eberhardt Rechtin (1926-2006) was an American systems engineer and respected authority in aerospace systems and systems architecture. He received both his BS (1946) and PhD (1950) degrees from Caltech. He worked at Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1948-1967, holding, among other positions, that of chief architect and director of NASA's Deep Space Network.

He became the Director of DARPA in 1967, and stayed in the Defense Department as Assistant Secretary for Telecommunications. He was president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation from 1977-1987. In 1987, he left Aerospace to found the systems architecture graduate program at the University of Southern California, from which he retired.

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Did you know

  • ...that a successful experimental system must be stable and reproducible enough for scientists to make sense of the system's behavior, but unpredictable enough that it can produce useful results?
  • ... that the American systems scientist John Nelson Warfield found systems science to consist of a hierarchy of sciences.
    • Beginning at the base, with a science of description,
    • continuing vertically with a science of design,
    • then a science of complexity,
    • and next a science of action, called "Interactive management".



...Archive

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Science portal on Wikinews     Systems scientists on Wikiquote     Systems on Wikibooks     Systems on Wikicommons     Systems theory on Wiktionary     Wikiversity School of Science
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