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User longog
title From Physics to Biology by Extending Criticality and Symmetry Breakings.
Authors Giuseppe Longo, Maël Montévil
Source Invited paper, to appear in special issue of Progress in Biophysics and Molecular Biology.

Year 2011
Type Journal

Optional Infos

Abstract Since the work of E. Noether and H. Weyl in the first half of last century, physics is largely governed by
symmetries and by the geodesic principle, a consequence of symmetries. Herein, we briefly review the role of the latter
by showing how it allows to conceptually move from classical to relativistic and quantum physics by means of
symmetry changes. We then introduce our ongoing theoretical analysis in biology and show that symmetries play a
radically different role in this discipline, when compared to those in current physics. By this comparison, we stress that
symmetries must be understood in relation to conservation and stability properties, as represented in the theories. We
posit that the dynamics of biological organisms, in their various levels of organization, are not "just" processes, but
permanent (extended, in our terminology) critical transitions and, thus, symmetry changes. Within the limits of a relative
structural stability (or interval of viability), variability is at the core of these transitions.
Link ftp://ftp.di.ens.fr/pub/users/longo/CIM/symmExtCrit.pdf
Created Tuesday 03 May, 2011 15:58:39