Self-organized criticality: An explanation of the 1/f noise

Phys. Rev. Lett. 59, 381 – Published 27 July 1987
Per Bak, Chao Tang, and Kurt Wiesenfeld


We show that dynamical systems with spatial degrees of freedom naturally evolve into a self-organized critical point. Flicker noise, or 1/f noise, can be identified with the dynamics of the critical state. This picture also yields insight into the origin of fractal objects.


  • Received 13 March 1987
  • Published in the issue dated 27 July 1987

© 1987 The American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Per Bak, Chao Tang, and Kurt Wiesenfeld

  • Physics Department, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973


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