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Emergence is a phenomenon which happens in systems made up of a great number of simple parts which interact in a simple matter, but which give rise to large-scale patterns or a complex overall behavior: for example, a cloud is an emergent phenomenon, a result of the interaction of many microscopic droplets.

In Physics, emergence has a slightly different meaning: it refers to laws that can be used to describe ensembles, the components of which behave by a different set of laws. For example, temperature is a property of large-scale ensembles of particles, which can be used to make predictions about their behavior, but is just a statistical measure of each particle’s momentum. In some theories of quantum gravity, such as Loop Quantum Gravity, space is not a fundamental structure, but it emerges from the interaction of loops, which are the fundamental objects of the theory.

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