Colloquia Patavina: The effect of disorder on phase transitions and critical phenomena


Martedi' 21 Aprile 2009 alle ore 16:00 in aula 1C/150 della Torre Archimede il Prof. Giambattista Giacomin (Universite' Paris Diderot and LPMA (CNRS)) terra' una conferenza della serie Colloquia Patavina.

La Commissione Colloquia
M. A. Garuti, M. Pavon, M. Pitteri, F. Rossi

The effect of disorder on phase transitions and critical phenomena

Giambattista Giacomin (Universite' Paris Diderot and LPMA (CNRS))

Systems with a large number of interacting components may display sharply different behaviors in dependence of slight changes in some parameters that control the interactions. These phenomena go under the name of phase transitions and they find a mathematically well defined, and much studied, framework in the notion of Gibbs measure. Disordered interactions are introduced to account for the fact that the different components may not be identical and this leads to a number of new phenomena and some very intriguing predictions have been set forth by physicists. The purpose of this talk is to present a precise class of models - the disordered pinning models - that, in spite of their rather elementary definition, show a very rich phenomenology. In this context, I will report on recent results and techniques that put on firm grounds some predictions based on renormalization group arguments and that lead to definite answers for some controversial issues.

-Breve curriculum
Giambattista Giacomin studied physics at the University of Pisa and at the Scuola Normale Superiore. He went on to mathematics and got his PhD from Rutgers University in 1995. He held postdoctoral positions in Zurich and Lausanne and became associate professor in probability and mathematical statistics at the University of Milano in 1998. Two years later he got a professor position at at the University of Paris 7 (now, Paris Diderot) and he is since then member of the LPMA (Laboratoire de Probabilites et Modeles Aleatoires). His field of research is stochastic processes and applications, with particular attention to questions issued from statistical mechanics.

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