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Title: Large Scale Excitations in Disordered Systems
Author: Sales i Pardo, Marta
Director: Ritort Farran, Fèlix
Keywords: Mètodes numèrics
Sistemes aleatoris
Vidres d'espí
Issue Date: 22-Nov-2002
Publisher: Universitat de Barcelona
Abstract: Disorder is present in many systems in nature and in many different versions. For instance, the dislocations of a crystal lattice, or the randomness of the interaction between magnetic moments. One of the most studied examples is that of spin glasses because they are simple to model but keep most of the very complex features that many disordered systems have. The frustration of the ground state configuration is responsible for the existence of a gap less spectrum of excitations and a rugged and complex free-energy landscape which bring about a very slow relaxation towards the equilibrium state. The main concern of the thesis has been to study what the properties of the typical excitation, i.e. those excitations that are large and contribute dominantly to the physics in the frozen phase. The existence of these large excitations brings about large fluctuations of the order parameter, and we have shown in these theses that this feature can be exploited to study the transition of any spin glass model. Moreover, we have shown that the information about these excitations can be extracted from the statistics of the lowest lying excitations. This is because due to the random nature of spin glasses, the physics obtained from averaging over the whole spectrum of excitations of an infinite sample is equivalent to averaging over many finite systems where only the ground state and the first excitation are considered. The novelty of this approach is that we do not need to make any assumption on what are typical excitations like because we can compute them exactly using numerical methods. Finally, we have investigated the dynamics and more specifically the link between the problem of chaos and the rejuvenation phenomena observed experimentally. Rejuvenation means that when lowering the temperature the aging process restarts again from scratch. This is potentially linked with the chaos assumption which states that equilibrium configurations at two different properties are not correlated. Chaos is a large scale phenomenon possible if entropy fluctuations are large. However, in this thesis we have shown that the response to temperature changes can be large in the absence of chaos close to a localization transition where the Boltzmann weight condenses in a few states. This has been observed in simulation of the Sinai model in which this localization is realized dynamically. In this model, since at low temperatures the system gets trapped in the very deep states, the dynamics is only local, so that only small excitations contribute to the rejuvenation signal that we have been able to observe. Thus, in agreement with the hierarchical picture, rejuvenation is possible even in the absence of chaos and reflects the start of the aging process of small length scales.
ISBN: 8468809462
Appears in Collections:Tesis Doctorals - Departament - Física Fonamental

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