Experiments performed with the aim to explain pattern formation in plasma devices offer, as I will show in this survey, a new insight into the mechanism by which locally matter transits spontaneously from a disordered state into an ordered one. The essential news revealed by these experiments is the identification of a population of electrons that, driven at a critical distance from thermal equilibrium, is able to act as the organizer of the emergence and the survival of a complexity starting from chaos, i.e., from electric sparks the appearance of which is controlled by deterministic chaos. Supplied at a constant rate with thermal energy extracted by electrons from plasma, the complexity survives in a dynamical state performing operations in agreement with a code directly related to electrons thermal energy distribution function. Acting as a constituent of the matter, the population of electrons intrinsically controls the emergence and the survival of the complexity. Performing operations directly related to electron’s thermal energy distribution function, the complexity evolves stepwise in more advanced self-organized dynamical states, when this function is changed by an additional injection of energy.A set of nonlinear phenomena, not explainable by classical processes is involved in the mechanism by which the complexity emerges, survives and evolves. Thus, phenomena like Bose-Einstein condensation, macroscopic quantum coherence, direct and alternate Josephson effects, electron tunneling, negative differential impedance and others, potentially explain the emergence, functionality and vitality, i.e., the dynamical state of the complexity.
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