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Complex systems, such as soft matter (e.g., colloids, gels, polymers, and granular materials), biological systems (ranging from proteins, single cells, to living bodies and ecologies), and complex networks (e.g., message-processing network in the internet and human mind, and neural network for learning and decision-making) show fascinating characteristics that are fundamentally beyond the description of college textbooks.

Different approaches can be adopted to build up basic understandings of the complex physical world. As a promising starting point, the research in our lab is currently focused on the Simplest Systems with True Complexity (i.e., soft matter composed of simple components), with the "Exploration of Order in Disorder" as a central theme. Concepts deeply involved in the understanding of such systems (e.g., marginal stability, metastability, rigidity, ergodicity, criticality and self-organized criticality) may provide keys to the more complex physical world.

    • Hua Tong
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