Frank A. Wilckzek
Institute for Theoretical Physics University of California,
Santa Barbara, Calif.
" Natural materials are often disordered. While one's first instinct might be to associate "disordered" with "messy" and "useless," an impressive body of coherent theory has developed to describe these systems, and the approaches have recently been applied successfully to an increasing variety of interesting cases. Physics Today devoted its entire December issue to the subject of disordered solids.
Included are articles by P. Wong on sedimentary rock (pages 24-32), B.L. Al'tshuler and P.A. Lee on disordered electronic systems (pages 36-44), R.A. Webb and S. Washburn on manifestations of quantum interference (pages 46-53), D.S. Fisher, G.M. Grinstein, and A. Khurana on disordered magnets (pages 56-67), and H. Sompolinsky on neural nets (pages 70-80). This issue is an ideal introduction to an interesting, wide-ranging, and technologically significant field. (Continuing along the same lines, see the papers listed below...