Spin glasses are disordered magnetic systems that have led to the development of mathematical tools with an array of real-world applications, from airline scheduling to neural networks. Spin Glasses and Complexity offers the most concise, engaging, and accessible introduction to the subject, fully explaining what spin glasses are, why they are important, and how they are opening up new ways of thinking about complexity. This one-of-a-kind guide to spin glasses begins by explaining the fundamentals of order and symmetry in condensed matter physics and how spin glasses fit into--and modify--this framework. It then explores how spin-glass concepts and ideas have found applications in areas as diverse as computational complexity, biological and artificial neural networks, protein folding, immune response maturation, combinatorial optimization, and social network modeling. Providing an essential overview of the history, science, and growing significance of this exciting field, S pin Glasses and Complexity also features a forward-looking discussion of what spin glasses may teach us in the future about complex systems. This is a must-have book for students and practitioners in the natural and social sciences, with new material even for the experts.
From the Back Cover
This excellent book fills a unique and valuable niche. It is a great introduction to some fascinating physics, emphasizing the fundamental concepts and the connections to other complex systems. There are lots of technical volumes on spin glasses, but no other book works at this nonmathematical level, certainly not while still being so accurate and insightful. --Cosma Shalizi, Carnegie Mellon University This primer builds the theory of spin glasses, starting with the real physical systems and experiments that inspired the theory. Stein and Newman work hard to make this material accessible to nonphysicists, and they write in an entertaining and friendly way. Even as a physicist I learned a fair amount. --Cris Moore, Santa Fe Institute