Science and Engineering at The University of Edinburgh

Soft Condensed Matter, Biological Physics Experiment & Statistical Physics Seminars

Explanatory note

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Speakers should read this note

Week beginning 19 October 2014

Monday 20 Oct 14 - 1:00pm

Overview of Disordered Systems and some Progress with the Replica Method

Peter Mottishaw (University of Edinburgh)

This talk will give an overview of some of the ideas that have proved useful in understanding disordered systems. It will then describe some progress in understanding the replica method in the context of the random energy model, the simplest disordered system where replica symmetry is broken. Disordered systems include materials such as glasses and spin glasses. Problems outside of physics, such as classic optimisation problems, neural networks and genealogy models, can also be considered as disordered systems and have been addressed using replicas and other techniques.

Upcoming meetings

Monday 27 Oct 14 - 1:00pm - Room 2511


Dongyu Cai (University of Edinburgh)

Monday 3 Nov 14 - 1:00pm - Room 2511


Toby Searle (University of Edinburgh)

Monday 10 Nov 14 - 1:00pm - Room 2511


Andrew Tadrowski (University of Edinburgh)

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Note for speakers

  • We try to encourage an informal atmosphere.
  • To encourage discussion, talks are limited to 30/40 mins plus up to 20/10 mins for questions.
  • Almost any style of talk is allowed and resident speakers are encouraged to give a variety of different types of talk during their stay at Edinburgh. Examples include talks about the speaker's research, a particular paper or publication (`Journal Club' talks), pedagogical talks, question-and-answer sessions, etc.
  • Speakers are encouraged to pitch their seminars to the whole group.
  • I would be grateful if the next speaker on the list could inform me of the title and short abstract (it should fit onto the usual advertising poster) of his/her talk by Wednesday of the week before, to allow me to do the advertising.
  • Anyone unable to give their talk on the scheduled date should in the first instance try to rearrange with someone else on the list, and only then inform me of the final outcome so that I can change the rota.
  • Talks of soft condensed matter students can only be cancelled with permission from Prof. Cates, and should be done as far in advance as possible to give some chance of finding a replacement.
  • If anyone would like to volunteer a seminar themselves, knows of a visitor or new arrival who might be willing to give a talk, or for any other queries, please contact the seminar organiser (see below for email address).