2011 Top Ten: 1. Physicists could become tomorrow’s leading economic forecasters
Unlike mainstream economists, who rely on averages, econophysicists study complex systems, feedback loops, cascading effects, irrational decision making, and other destabilizing influences, which may help them to foresee economic upheavals.
For instance, researchers exploring a variety of complex networks claim to have discovered strange similarities between the functioning of the stock market, the Arctic, and the human brain. Many complex systems—including market exchanges, animal populations, and ecosystems—exhibit identifiable "early warning" behaviors prior to big disruptive shifts like crashes, according to a 2009 paper published in the journal Nature.