Spin-glasses are disordered magnetic alloys with very unusual behaviour. Interest in spin glasses goes far
beyond just this class of materials, however, because they provide a convenient model system from which to
derive a unified theory of the glassy state (glass is one of the most common, yet mysterious states of
condensed matter). Interest in spin glasses also extends outside of condensed matter physics because there
has been a fruitful exchange of ideas between the spin glass community and researchers in other branches
of science such as computer scientists working on combinatorical optimization.
Colloids are an excellent example of systems with phase transitions between
every kind of phases: gas, liquid, crystal and amorphous. Though such
transitions have been studied for decades, the phase diagram
predictions found in textbooks are rarely found experimentally as soon
as off-equilibrium dynamic effects become dominant.
monte carlo methods with constraints
Including constraint in Monte Carlo simulations is usually regarded as
a bad idea, since they limit fluctuations and typically slow down the
simulation. However, in the study of complex systems constrained ensembles
provide a way to feed the simulation with aditional information.
The type of research we do saturates any available computer
facilities. Part of our effort consist in the development of
special-purpose computers such as Janus, which
for some particular problems is several orders of magnitude faster than
perturbative and variational methods
Our research interests are not restricted to Monte Carlo simulations. Among our analytical work, we have
- Statistical mechanics out of equilibrium: modelling the relaxation to thermodynamical equilibrium
- Quantum Field Theory at finite temperature: high-temperature approximations.
- Macromolecular chains: some theoretical problems and possible implications for DNA.
- Thomson scattering in fusion plasmas (Collaboration with the Fusion Plasma Division, CIEMAT, Madrid).