This theme issue is dedicated to a new scientific area born on the border of two millennia and on the border of two great sciences: physics and cybernetics. Its essence is in studying physical systems by cybernetic methods and it was suggested to call it ‘cybernetical physics’ in Latin tradition, like mathematical physics, biological physics, etc. Despite being very young as a scientific area, it already has two Nobel prizes related to its activities: A. Zewail in 1999 and S. Larouche−D. Weinland in 2012. On the other hand, the roots of cybernetical physics can be traced back to the great physicists of the past: J. C. Maxwell and P. L. Kapitsa.
Nevertheless, many researchers in neighbouring areas are still not aware about the achievements and the prospects of cybernetical physics. Filling this gap is the main aim of this theme issue. In the issue, the works of a number of the key players in the field are collected.
The content of this theme issue may be grouped into six clusters. The first two papers provide us with surveys of the area from different perspectives. The second part, consisting of three papers, is dedicated to the control of nonlinear oscillations and waves. The next part, consisting of only one paper, is related to quantum control. The succeeding four papers are dedicated to the interaction of cybernetics and thermodynamics, whereas the next two papers deal with the control of networks. The two last but not the least papers demonstrate the power of the control methods in some real-world applications.
The authors of all 14 papers represent 11 countries and provide a really international view of this interdisciplinary area. They demonstrate that the main cybernetic tool—feedback may have a tremendous impact on the behaviour of physical systems, reveal new effects and phenomena, provide tools for optimal planning of physical experiments and even create models of complex physical systems.
As the Guest Editor of this theme issue, I take a chance to extend sincere thanks to the authors who kindly agreed to contribute to the volume. I hope that the presented results will help to open more new horizons of this new research area.
One contribution of 15 to a theme issue ‘Horizons of cybernetical physics’.
- Accepted November 24, 2016.
- © 2017 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.