Plenary Talk

Helmut Katzgraber, Texas A&M University

Four decades of frustration in spin-glass physics: Advances and applications

 Spin glasses are archetypal model systems used to investigate the effects of frustration and disorder. Concepts from the study of spin glasses have been applied to fields as diverse as structural biology, geology, computer science and financial analysis. Thus, understanding these systems on a fundamental level is of paramount importance. Despite ongoing research spanning several decades, there remain many fundamental open questions, such as the existence of a spin-glass state in a field or the low-temperature structure of phase space for short-range systems. In recent years, however, the advent of fast and cost-effective computers, as well as the use of efficient algorithms has enabled researchers to probe these paradigmatic systems deep into the spin-glass phase. In parallel, research has also shifted towards applications of the spin-glass machinery to a plethora of research fields and, in particular, to the understanding of problems in quantum information theory and quantum computing. In this talk, I will illustrate why these frustrated systems are not so frustrating after all. First, an overview of spin glasses will be given, followed by recent developments on the low-temperature behavior of spin glasses. Furthermore, the use of spin glasses in quantum computing applications is illustrated with the central role they play in benchmarking quantum annealing machines, such that the D-Wave Two.