Julianne D. Halley and David A. Winkler are affiliated with CSIRO Molecular and Health Technologies, Private Bag 10, Clayton South MDC 3169, Australia.
Essays and Commentaries
Consistent concepts of self-organization and self-assembly
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2008
Copyright © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Volume 14, Issue 2, pages 10–17, November/December 2008
How to Cite
Halley, Julianne. D. and Winkler, D. A. (2008), Consistent concepts of self-organization and self-assembly. Complexity, 14: 10–17. doi: 10.1002/cplx.20235
- Issue published online: 3 NOV 2008
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2008
We critically review concepts of self-organization and self-assembly, and extract from this analysis consistent and workable definitions of both concepts that are applicable across many scientific disciplines. In essence, we distinguish self-organization from self-assembly on a thermodynamic basis, where self-organization implies a nonequilibrium process and self-assembly is reserved for spontaneous processes tending toward equilibrium. This discrimination is consistent with early uses of both terms. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity, 2008.