It is generally acknowledged that many of the key challenges and opportunities in the study of matter involve understanding complex and collective phenomena. Because these challenges frequently fall at the boundaries between conventional scientific disciplines, there is an urgent need to create new kinds of thinking and institutions capable of exploiting these opportunities. At the core of this new enterprise in the study of matter is the search for an understanding of emergent behavior – phenomena whose ultimate cause involves interactions between many simple units but which cannot be easily predicted from knowledge of the component parts alone. Our shorthand designation for soft, hard, and living matter exhibiting emergent phenomena is complex adaptive matter.

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