Giorgio Parisi

University of Rome


Election Year: 2003
Primary Section: 33, Applied Physical Sciences
Secondary Section: 13, Physics
Membership Type: Foreign Associate

Research Interests

As a physicist I am fascinated by all those phenomena where the interaction of many degrees of freedom gives rise to a sometime unexpected collective behaviour. In the past I have studied these effects in the framework of quantum field theory and critical phenomena. At the present moment I am trying to understand the behaviour of glassy systems, which range from spin glasses to structural glasses, and to find out the characteristic features that can be compared with experiment. These glassy systems are characterized by the existence of many quasi-equilibrium states and recently I have done a strong effort to get more precise information on their number and their properties. This basic research has also important applied applications: for example very efficient methods for solving some difficult optimization problems (e.g. KSAT) have been developed in the last two years using in a crucial way conceptual tools that have been introduced in the study of spin glasses. I am using similar ideas also for studying systems (often of biological origin) composed by a large number of heterogeneous agents interacting among themselves by exchanging contradictory messages. The goal is to characterize their slow dynamics, dominated by the jumping among quasi-equilibrium states.

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