Publication 5041

Earley J. E. S. (2000) Varieties of chemical closure: Three kinds of coherence observed in chemical systems, and their relation to societal integration. In: Chandler J. & Van de Vijver G. (eds.) Closure: Emergent organizations and their dynamics. New York Academy of Sciences, New York: 122–131.
Covalent bonding within chemical molecules and the internal electronic structure of atoms involve closure of phase relations in electronic wave functions, as suggested de Broglie by many years ago. The structures of crystals involving positive and negative ions can be understood in terms of replication of unit cells that may be classified in terms of symmetry. The main principle involved in crystal symmetry can be understood by examining possible patterns in decorative borders. A more widely applicable type of chemical closure occurs in oscillating reactions (dissipative structures), in which an autocatalytic process is balanced by some exit reaction. As is the case for the other types of chemical coherence, the number of distinct types of oscillating reactions is rather small. Otherwise puzzling aspects of human social and organizational behavior may be clarified by analogy with chemical oscillating reactions.
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