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Physicists' New Adventure

Yi-Cheng Zhang

posted on 01 February 1999

After long months waiting, finally we are able to present this interactive
site. The need of a web site is well recognized: since we, physicists doing
economy-related research, are marginal to both communities: economics and
physics. The hope is that this site would serve as a catalyst at fostering
the exciting new field of "econophysics".

Being marginal is not necessary bad, as most interesting things often happen
at the border areas of disciplines. Let's hope that this web site will
enhance our visibility, and most importantly, to stimulate this emerging
field of "econophysics".

Some comments on the current form we have chosen: 

We want to have an interactive site so that feedbacks from readers can
be added and feedbacks on feedbacks... . Our web-address is not yet definite,
in the near future we'll buy an exclusive site, most likely to be
The layout is also fixed, we hope it will evolve into a more efficient,
professional forms. Readers can already have a look at a possible 
future layout
, by Gadi Oron and his friend.

The main page is divided into two parts: the left part is supposed to be
function buttons and should more or less remain fixed. Some of the buttons
are not yet functional. We hope some more volunteers will come to help.
The monthly issue part is meant to carry a few "feature articles". They
are not necessarily research articles, since we don't want compete with
existing journals. They are short "essays" to reflect opinions, information,
or to solicit discussions on a current topic. Readers are invited to active
comment on their views. 

Then we have an article "focus". This time Doyne Farmer writes something
about his way in and out of the big money game. It's not an over-statement
that Wall Street (in a broad sense) absorbs more new physics PhD's than
physics proper. These "emigrants" feel still homesick of research and hopefully
will find our community a bridge between physics and economy. 

We are lucky to have the preprints archive online, notably cond-mat and
adap-org sites. The positive side of this online publishing is that instant
dissemination of research results and everything can be found under the
same roof. The drawback is that anything goes---no classical peer review.
Also the fact papers related to econophysics and other interdisciplinary
subjects are often overwhelmed by the majority bona fede cond-mat papers.
Thus a casual selection is concentrated here. There will be a comment button
to have feedbacks---everyone can act as referee! 

We hope to foster a more productive dialogue with economists. We are happy
that Brian Arthur is willing to play a part for us. On his departure to
Davos (where he participate the bigger Forum!) he said to write contributions
in future issues. Arthur is well known, but he is at odds with the so-called
mainstream. More contact is needed. In this issue we propose to visit virtually
an economist, albeit mainstream. 

Let's hope that readers will find this adventure interesting and hopefully
want to play part with their feedbacks. Let's have fun!