Physics Colloquium - Friday, Sept. 7th, 2007, 4:00 P.M.

E300 Math/Science Center; Refreshments at 3:30 P.M. in Room E200

Sid Redner
Department of Physics
Boston University

Statistical Physics of Citations

This talk will begin with basic empirical facts about the network of scientific citations, based on all Physical Review publications from the past 110 years. Intriguingly, the evolution of citations appears to be described by nearly linear preferential attachment. A master equation approach will be presented to characterize the citation distribution and related popularity-driven networks. The conditions that lead to exponential, power-law, or more singular citation distributions will be elucidated for general classes of networks. The citation data of Physical Review also reveals many interesting features that motivate new theoretical models. Finally, the Google page-rank analysis of citations will be applied to find "hidden gems" in Physical Review publications.