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String glasses

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According to traditional beliefs, physics at subatomic scales is intrinsically simple, and complexity only emerges in the macroscopic or living world. Recent theoretical and experimental developments suggest this may be wrong. Indeed, microscopic complexity has been essential in theoretical accounts of the origin of matter and its interactions, the entropy of black holes, and the nature of dark energy. I will review some of these developments in the context of string theory and cosmology, and will discuss how ideas developed to understand the physics of glasses and other complex systems can be applied in this setting. Conversely, holographic dualities may provide new insights into the nature of such systems.

This talk is part of the Theoretical Physics Colloquium series.

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