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Spin Glasses

An Experimental Introduction

The phase of condensed matter known as spin glasses has become a vital and productive area of research. Historically, experiment has suggested unusual effects which have brought the theoretical study of the spin Glass Problem Onto The Same Footing As The Experimental Study. Experiments in the late 1960s on magnetic alloys presented interesting effects which were difficult to explain. It took until the mid 1970s for new developments in condensed matter theory to reveal that a sharp phase transition was at the root of the phenomenon. John Mydosh tells the story of the spin glasses in a phenomenological way. He describes these materials first from the premise of an experiment, using figures and tables rather than equations and derivations. This empirical approach then leads to recent advances in finding and measuring spin glasses which closely mimic the theoretical models. The author describes spin glasses as a state of magnetic ordering in third place after ferromagnetism and antiferromagnetism. He also pays heed to the importance of amorphous or glassy materials in contemporary physics while also describing the richness of analogues with many areas of research from astrophysics via molecular evolution to zoology.
Key Features:
* An introduction to the phenomenon and physics of spin glasses via an experimental approach
* A simple and less theoretical treatment of the problem, making it accessible to the upper graduate student, the non-theorist or even non-physicist