# Statistical Patterns in the Equations of Physics and the Emergence of a Meta-Law of Nature

Published in *arXiv preprint*, 2024

Recommended citation: A. Constantin, D.J. Bartlett, H. Desmond and P.G. Ferreira (2024). "Statistical Patterns in the Equations of Physics and the Emergence of a Meta-Law of Nature." *arXiv:2408.11065*.

## Abstract

Physics, as a fundamental science, aims to understand the laws of Nature and describe them in mathematical equations. While the physical reality manifests itself in a wide range of phenomena with varying levels of complexity, the equations that describe them display certain statistical regularities and patterns, which we begin to explore here. By drawing inspiration from linguistics, where Zipf’s law states that the frequency of any word in a large corpus of text is roughly inversely proportional to its rank in the frequency table, we investigate whether similar patterns for the distribution of operators emerge in the equations of physics. We analyse three corpora of formulae and find, using sophisticated implicit-likelihood methods, that the frequency of operators as a function of their rank in the frequency table is best described by an exponential law with a stable exponent, in contrast with Zipf’s inverse power-law. Understanding the underlying reasons behind this statistical pattern may shed light on Nature’s modus operandi or reveal recurrent patterns in physicists’ attempts to formalise the laws of Nature. It may also provide crucial input for symbolic regression, potentially augmenting language models to generate symbolic models for physical phenomena. By pioneering the study of statistical regularities in the equations of physics, our results open the door for a meta-law of Nature, a (probabilistic) law that all physical laws obey.

*Posterior distributions of the fits to the different corpora, where we compare a Zipf, Zipf-Mandelbrot, and exponential fit. It is clear that the latter provides the best fit. The solid lines indicate the posterior mean, and the coloured bands show the 68% confidence interval.*