“The simple is complex”: Professor Giora Hon starts the c:o/re 2023 lecture series on Complexity

Professor Giora Hon & c:o/re director Gabriele Gramelsberger

On April 12, 2023, the 5th c:o/re lecture series started off. After c:o/re director Gabriele Gramelsberger welcomed attendees and introduced the speaker, Professor Giora Hon delivered his talk, From Reciprocity of Formulation to Symbolic Language: A Source of Complexity in Scientific Knowledge

Professor Hon introduced his notion of epistemic complexity, which refers to what may be considered simple, rather than complex. The talk was directed at clarifying the oxymoron “the simple is complex”. Professor Hon does so in light of three developments in the history of physics:

  • the analogy between heat and electricity, following William Thomson
  • the reciprocity of text and symbolic formulation, following James C. Maxwell
  • liberating symbolic formulation from theory, following Heinrich Hertz

Professor Hon argued that, following this trajectory of ideas in history of physics, in Hertz the complete separation of formal theory and equations can be observed.

Arianna Borrelli addresses a question to Professor Giora Hon; also in the picture: c:o/re fellows Jianqing Chen and Masahiko Hara

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