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Tuesday, September 19, 2006
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
CNLS Conference Room


The SK spin glass revisited: new novel features and issues/questions for complexity physics, optimization and non-linear science

David Sherrington
Rudolf Peierls Centre for Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford, UK and CNLS, LANL

The Sherrington-Kirkpatrick model has become a paradigm not only for spin glasses but also for many other problems in complex systems; in physics, computer and information science, biology, econophysics and probability theory. This talk is nucleated by recent studies of the metastable state overlap distribution of the model, which remains non-trivial at zero temperature (a feature which relates to the difficulty of reaching theoretical limits in class computer science problems such as K-SAT and achieving Shannon bounds). These studies have exposed several new and intriguing features, which will be reported, and have exposed several questions about analogies and transfers from or to other areas of non-linear science, on which the author hopes to receive suggestions/advise/collaboration with members of the broad LANL nonlinear science community. The colloquium will attempt to set these issues in context within a concise review/overview of relevant aspects of general complex systems/networks. No prior knowledge of spin glasses will be needed and, indeed, the central problem can be considered as one in applied mathematics independently of its physical motivation (and could be of interest as such).

Host: Robert Ecke, CNLS and Eli Ben-Naim, T-13