- Review Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Self-organization is a property of dissipative nonlinear processes that are governed by a global driving force and a local positive feedback mechanism, which creates regular geometric and/or temporal patterns, and decreases the entropy locally, in contrast to random processes. Here we investigate for the first time a comprehensive number of (17) self-organization processes that operate in planetary physics, solar physics, stellar physics, galactic physics, and cosmology. Self-organizing systems create spontaneous “order out of randomness”, during the evolution from an initially disordered system to an ordered quasi-stationary system, mostly by quasi-periodic limit-cycle dynamics, but also by harmonic (mechanical or gyromagnetic) resonances. The global driving force can be due to gravity, electromagnetic forces, mechanical forces (e.g., rotation or differential rotation), thermal pressure, or acceleration of nonthermal particles, while the positive feedback mechanism is often an instability, such as the magneto-rotational (Balbus-Hawley) instability, the convective (Rayleigh-Bénard) instability, turbulence, vortex attraction, magnetic reconnection, plasma condensation, or a loss-cone instability. Physical models of astrophysical self-organization processes require hydrodynamic, magneto-hydrodynamic (MHD), plasma, or N-body simulations. Analytical formulations of self-organizing systems generally involve coupled differential equations with limit-cycle solutions of the Lotka-Volterra or Hopf-bifurcation type. Show more
Journal / seriesSpace Science Reviews
Pages / Article No.
SubjectAstrophysics; Planetary physics; Stellar physics; Solar physics; Self; Organization; Limit cycle dynamics; Instabilities; Lotka; Volterra systems; Hopf bifurcation
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