Since I first read a New Kind of Science from Stephen Wolfram, about a way of using elementary rules to build ever more complex outcomes I was captivated. However beyond some interesting patterns and nice pictures, there was no real way to use the developments in a day-to-day use. Stephen Wolfram has now published new work showing how simple network mappings could represent fundamental physics.

The work is massive and very very detailed as you’d expect from the person behind the Mathematica language and Wolfram Alpha. The work reminds us of the Conway game of life (cellular automata) where simple rules result in the complexity we see around us. The thinking is that our rules are governed in a way by these processes.

If you fancy going his blog where he outlines the thinking then you can visit that, but in addition there is a dedicated website which has some wonderfully illustrated graphics highlighting how each of the patterns can lead to such different structure.

We warn you now that there is a lot to read and you might lose an hour or even a day or so. The work is very readable and will provide you with some great insight into how complexity can emerge from just a few simple rules.