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Spin Glasses and Complexity

by Charles M. Newman Daniel L. Stein

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, Spin 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.

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