- D. Challet, M. Marsili, R. Zecchina
- Rev. Lett. Vol. 84 pages 1824-1827
One of the main trends of statistical physics in the last two decades has been the emergence of new concepts and techniques to study the cooperative behaviour of disordered and frustrated systems and provide the means for their fruitful application. These are systems where the elementary microscopic objects (whether they are for instance spins or particles or human beings), while usually similar to one another in isolation exhibit complex cooperative behaviour and acquire distinction in their individual compromises with their fellows and their environments. This evolution, augmented and intertwined with the progress in the study of out-of-equilibrium systems, has defined new areas where statistical physics has great potential for very fruitful application and has demonstrated this utility. Additionally, there has been significant complementary stimulation of statistical physics through these mathematical and conceptual analogies and extensions, leading to a symbiotic amplification of progress throughout. This network is born precisely to promote the use of statistical physics to study complex systems in realms that are at the borderline of physics.