Workshop on Scale Relativity: Universe, Life, Societies.


Workshop on Scale Relativity:
Universe, Life, Societies

Laurent Nottale, CNRS, Paris-Meudon.
Jean Chaline, CNRS, Dijon.
Pierre Grou, University of Versailles-Saint-Quentin.


All great systems such as the Universe, Life or Societies share important common features: they evolve towards complexity, are subject to major transitions and phenomena of acceleration. With this directive line, three researchers, Laurent Nottale, astrophysicist, Jean Chaline, Paleontologist and Pierre Grou, economist and sociologist did reassemble their insights and efforts. The result? The discovery that scale laws might govern the evolution of the Cosmos, of Life or of Economy. A scientific revolution in progress? This workshop invites all researchers interested in physics, biology, economics, complexity & system theory, etc. to discuss the promising framework which will be presented.

Tuesday 5 May, Laurent Nottale will present the theory of Scale Relativity, an extension of Einstein's Relativity. In this framework, quantum mechanics may indeed be founded on the principle of relativity itself, provided this principle (applied up to now to position, orientation and motion) be extended to scales. Many successful predictions and application of the theory will be presented, both in micro and macro physics.

Wednesday 6 May, Jean Chaline asks if the tree of Life might have fractal aspects. He suggest how a fractal mathematical structure can be applied to the tree of Life. Pierre Grou then shows that the accelerating trends in the evolution of societies may also be analysed with scale laws. Laurent Nottale will close the workshop with an attempt to synthesize the different results presented.

When & Where?
Tuesday and Wednesday May 5-6. 

Tuesday, the workshop will take place in room D106, and Wednesday in room D108 (building D, level 1), on the VUB Campus Etterbeek (Brussels, Belgium). Free entrance: everybody welcome!

The detailed program is the following:

The links in the program are to the powerpoint presentations.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009, Room D106

14:00 - 15:00 Laurent Nottale - Introduction to Scale Relativity.
15:00 - 15:30 Questions
15:30 - 16:00 Coffee Break
16:00 - 17:00 Laurent Nottale - Applications in Micro and Macro physics: Schrödinger, Scale Laws, Fractals, Structures (theory),
17:00 - 18:00 Tutorial Questions and Discussion

Wednesday, 6 May 2009, Room D108

09:00 - 10:30 Jean Chaline - Is the Life Tree Fractal? (part 1, 44mb), (part 2 (25mb))
10:30 - 11:00 Questions
11:00 - 11:30 Coffee Break
11:30 - 13:00 Pierre Grou - Acceleration in Human Societies
13:00 - 13:30 Questions
13:30 - 14:30 Lunch break
14:30 - 15:30 Laurent Nottale - Synthesis: Fractal Structures in Nature
15:30 - 16:00 Questions

About the speakers

The work presented is based and extended from a book the three researchers wrote together:

Nottale, L., J. Chaline, and P. Grou. 2000. Les Arbres De L'évolution: Univers, Vie, Sociétés. Hachette littératures.  

Laurent Nottale is "directeur de recherche" at CNRS, Paris-Meudon Observatory. He worked for a long time on cosmology and gravitational lenses. He is now devoting most of his activity to the development of the Scale Relativity theory. He is a prolific author and his scientific papers can be downloaded at:

His published books include:

Nottale, L. 1993. Fractal Space-Time and Microphysics: Towards a Theory of Scale Relativity. World Scientific.  

---. 1998. La relativité dans tous ses états: au delà de l'espace-temps. Hachette.  

---. 1994. L'univers et la lumière. Cosmologie classique et mirages gravitationnels. Flammarion.

Jean Chaline is a paleontologist, Emeritus research Director in CNRS (University of Burgundy, Dijon) and honorary Professor at the Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (Paris), he was the Director of the « Biogeosciences CNRS Laboratory » and « Paleobiodiversity and Prehistory laboratory » (EPHE). He was working on rodents and human evolution through ontogenetical processes. Since 15 years, he works with astrophysician Nottale and sociologist Grou on the applications of the Scale Relativity Theory to living-beings. 245 papers, 32 books, more than 100 invited conferences.

Pierre Grou is Professor of economical sciences at the University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines. He published books about economic crises, capitalism, and the evolution of economics, from australopithecus to multinationals.