Serge Galam

Centre de Recherche en Epistémologie Appliquée
The Ising model is so simple that nobody would have give it a chance to survive after the "deceptive" work by Ising to check the existence of a phase transition between order and disorder. And indeed, it has allow hundreds of researchers all over the world and for decade to produce thousands of research papers in physics but also in many other fields. On top of that epistemological surprise the Ising model has been at the core of the creation of sociophysics, a field built from statistical physics to describe social and political behavior. The study of yes or no agents has driven hundreds of works, which enlighten from a different prospective the hidden mechanisms behind social dynamics. And it is far from being over.
I will present the basic ingredients and main features of the Ising model within physics. I will then illustrate its use to apprehend opinion dynamics. Several real life applications will be also discussed.
A few papers to read:
  1. S. Galam, Y. Gefen and Y. Shapir, Sociophysics : “A mean behavior model for the process of strike”, Mathematical Journal of Sociology 9 (1982) 1-13
  2. S. Galam and S. Moscovici, “Towards a theory of collective phenomena: Consensus and attitude changes in groups”, European Journal of Social Psychology 21 (1991) 49-74
  3. S. Galam, “Fragmentation versus stability in bimodal coalitions”, Physica A230 (1996) 174-188
  4. S. Galam, “Rational group decision making: a random field Ising model at T = 0”, Physica A, 238 (1997) 66-80
  5. S. Galam, “Sociophysics: a review of Galam models”, International Journal of Modern Physics C 19, №3 (2008) 409–440

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