Birger Bergersen, Professor Emeritus

Sivilingeniřr, Univ. Trondheim (62)
Ph.D., Brandeis Univ. (64)
Norwegian Science Foundation Fellow, Trondheim (65-67)
NORDITA Fellow, Göteborg (67-69)
Post Doctoral Fellow, McMaster  (69-72)

Research Interests:

My research aims to clarify basic questions in statistical mechanics by studying simple model systems, which are realistic enough that essential features can be brought to light. The current focus of my studies is steady state non-equilibrium phenomena. Computer simulations combined with analytical methods such as renormalization group and mean field theories are my main tools, and all of my current research projects involve interdisciplinary studies. Current projects also involves a critique of  some standard economics models based  a faulty understanding of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.


Work in progress



Birger Bergersen: Statistical mechanics of risk, utility and equilibrium; Analogies between economics and statistical physics.


Mushrooms of southwestern BC captions for vmstable in .docx

 and .pdf format : vmstable.xlsx, vmstable.pdf

Recent Theses supervised

Greg Lakatos, Transport and structure in nanoscale systems, Ph.D. Thesis 2006 (co-supervisor Gren Patey, Chemistry).

Mya Warren, Electronic and Structural effects on the electrochemistry of polypyrrol, MSc thesis  2005 (main supervisor John Madden, Electrical and Computer Engineering). PDF version.

Margarit Ifti, Scaling survival and extinction in many species system, Ph.D thesis UBC 2003. PDF version, Postscript version.

Michael D. Mitton, Agent inactivity in the evolutionary minority game, Masters thesis UBC, 2001

Timothy L. Duty, Spontaneous symmetry breaking and critical phenomena in the stepping stone model of population genetics, Ph. D thesis UBC 2000. PDF version.

Hendrik J. Blok. , On the nature of the stock market: simulations and experiment, Ph.D. thesis UBC, 2000. cond-mat/0010211

Daniel Groleau, Study of the scaling and temporal properties of a simplified earthquake model, Ph.D. thesis UBC 1997.

Selected Publications:

Statistical mechanics of utility and equilibrium: Analogies between economics and statistical physicsPhysics in Canada 65 #4 205 (2009).

"Equilibrium Statistical Physics"  3rd Ed. World Scientific xivi+620 pp, (2006).
 M. Plischke and B. Bergersen

First passage times of driven DNA hairpin unzipping , Greg Lakatos, Tom Chou, Birger Bergersen, Gren. N. Patey. Phys. Biol., 2, 166 (2005) .   

Crossover behaviour of 3-species systems with mutations”, Margarita Ifti, Birger Bergersen, nlin.AO/0307006, European Physicsl Journal B37 101-7 (2004).

Survival and Extinction in Cyclic and Neutral Three--species Systems”, Margarita Ifti, Birger Bergersen, European Physical Journal E10 (3), 241 (2003). nlin.AO/0208023

 “Synchronous vs. asynchronous updating in the game of life”, H. J. Blok and B. Bergersen, Phys. Rev. E59 3876 (1999)


 “Bacterial swimming strategies and turbulence”, R. Luchsinger, B. Bergersen and J. Mitchell:  Biophysics Journal   77, 2377 (1999).

The effect of boundary conditions on scaling in the game of life”, H. J. Blok, B. Bergersen, Phys. Rev. E55 624 (1997).

Scaling properties of a model for ruptures in an elastic medium”, D. Groleau, B.Bergersen and H. -J XuJ.Phys.  A: Math Gen. 30 3407 (1997). 

"Correlations in Ising chains with non-integrable interactions”, B. Bergersen, Z. Racz and H.-J. Xu, Phys. Rev. E52, 6031 (1995).

 "Equilibrium configurations of particles on a sphere: the case of logarithmic interactions", J. Phys. A. Math. Gen 27 2579 (1994),  B. Bergersen, D. Boal and P. Palffy-Muhoray.

"A plaquet representation of ruptures and models for earthquakes ", J de Physique I France  3 2029 (1993).
H-J. Xu, B. Bergersen and K. Chen.

"Long range interactions generated by random Levy flights: spin flip and spin exchange kinetic Ising model in two dimensions", Phys. Rev. E47 1520 (1993).H.-J Xu, B. Bergersen and Z. Racz.

"Self-organized Ruptures in an Elastic Medium: A Possible Model for Earthquakes", J. Phys. A:Math. Gen.  25, L1251 (1992), H. Xu, B., Bergersen and K. Chen.

"Filaments in Liquid Crystals: Structures and Dynamics", in "Complex Dissipative Systems" ed. S. Kai World Scientific Singapore (1992), P. Pallfy-Muhoray, B. Bergersen, H. Lin, R.B. Meyer and Z. Racz.

"Monte Carlo Simulations on Ising Dipoles: Finite Size Scaling and  Logarithmic Corrections", J. Phys. Condensed Matter 4, 2035 (1992), H. Xu, B. Bergersen and Z. Razc.

"Dynamical Interaction of Long Range Interactions: Random Levy Flights and the Kinetic Ising and Spherical Models", Phys. Rev. Lett. 67, 2047 (1991), B. Bergersen and Z. Razc.

"Ordering of Ising Dipoles",  H-J Xu, B. Bergersen, F.Niedermayer and Z. Racz, J. Phys. Condensed Matter 3, 499-512 (1991)..

"Random Bonds and Random Fields in Two Dimensional Orientational Glasses”, P.C.W. Holdsworth, M.J.P. Gingras, B.Bergersen and E. Chan, ", J. Phys. C. Condensed Matter 3, 6679 (1991

"Non separable anisotropic pair potentials: two dimensional liquid crystals and orientational glass" ,  in "Disorder in condensed matter physics", ed. J.A. Blackman and J Taguena, Oxford Science Publications 422 (1991). P.C.W. Holdsworth, M.J.P. Gingras and B. Bergersen. , Birger Bergersen home page