System - Term Overview

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A system is understood to be an ordered set of interrelated components, whether it's material or conceptual elements, endowed with a particular structure, composition and environment. It's a term that applies to various areas of knowledge, such as physics, biology and computer science or computing.

The world can be approached from a systematic or systematic perspective, in which all objects are part of some kind of system, from the particles of an atom to the cerebral cortex, representative democracy, or whole numbers. Seen this way, a system is nothing more than a segment of reality that can be studied independently of the rest, but in which its components are interconnected.

Systems are the object of study of Systems Theory or General Systems Theory, a discipline that addresses them whatever they may be from a multiple, interdisciplinary perspective. According to her, any system is recognizable given its limits and interrelated and interdependent parts (its so-called subsystems ), to the point that modifying one element necessarily modifies the functioning of the rest of the system.

Similarly, a system is considered to be more than the mere summation of its parts, that is, within a system it's possible to foresee the behavior of its components if the others are modified, and also the systems have a purpose to fulfill, an ultimate goal that guarantees your success.

Ultimately, all systems tend toward entropy (disorder) and eventually unravel into a larger one.

System types

Systems can be classified into two broad categories:

- Conceptual systems: They are ordered and interrelated sets of concepts and ideas, which can be of four different types: individuals, predicates, sets or operators. They are abstract, intangible.
- Material systems: On the contrary, they are tangible, concrete, and are composed of physical components, that is, things with specific properties, such as energy, history, position, etc.

System examples

Systems abound in our daily lives, such as:

- Circulatory system: Of the human body, made up of the heart, veins and arteries, as well as the blood that carries oxygen throughout the body.
- Closed thermal system: As is the case with a thermos in which we keep hot coffee, and the insulating material helps to minimize heat loss, keeping the heat energy in the liquid's particle system.
- Linguistic system: In the case of the language we speak, it's made up of signs and sounds, and the ability to create complex meanings (meanings) with it.
- Solar system: Of which our planet is part, and which is composed ofcelestial stars orbiting the Sun in elliptical paths, attracted by its force of gravity.
- Electric system: Present in our homes and activated by turning on a switch to provide electricity to the light bulb that illuminates the room, for example.

Computer systems

In computing, a system is understood to be a set of data ordered according to a series of instructions or algorithms, which allow its location and quick and simple retrieval.

This is an information or computer system, a concept that is also used by other information sciences such as library science, but in the case of computer science, it's automatically managed by a computer.

Systems in biology

In biology, similarly, the notion of system is often used to refer to the living or inanimate members of an ecosystem or a specific habitat, which are usually interrelated through cycles of transmission of matter ( trophic chains ) and also depend on the the presence of the other and the abundance of natural resources such as sunlight, water and decaying organic matter (in the case of plants and other energy- producing organisms ).

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