Spin glasses are statistical mechanics systems with random interactions. The alternating sign of those interactions generates a complex physical behavior whose mathematical structure is still largely uncovered. The approach we follow in this book is that of mathematical physics, aiming at the rigorous derivation of their properties with the help of physical insight.
The book starts with the theoretical physics origins of the spin glass problem. The main models are introduced and a description of the replica approach is illustrated for the Sherrington–Kirkpatrick model.
Chapters 2 and 3 contain the starting points of the mathematical rigorous approach leading to the control of the thermodynamic limit for spin glass systems. Correlation inequalities are introduced and proved in various settings, including the Nishimori line. They are then used to prove the existence of the large-volume limit in both short-range and mean-field models.
Chapter 4 deals with exact results which belong to the mean-field case. The methods and techniques illustrated span from the Ruelle probability cascades to theAizenman–Sims–Starr variational principle. In this framework theGuerra upper bound theorem for the pressure is presented and the Talagrand theorem is reported.
Chapter 5 deals with the structural identities characterizing the spin glass phase. These are obtained by an extension of the stochastic stability method, i.e. an invariance property of the system under small perturbations, together with the self-averaging property.
Chapter 6 features some problems which are still out of analytical reach and are investigated with numerical methods: the equivalence among different overlap structures, the hierarchical organization of the states, the decay of correlations, and the energy interface cost.