Daniel L. SteinDaniel L. Stein

Professor of Physics and Mathematics
Ph.D., Princeton University, 1979
daniel.stein@nyu.edu


My Research

D.L. Stein: Research on Disordered and Random Materials (In and Out of Equilibrium)
for Non-Physicists

One of the greatest achievements following the quantum revolution in the early years of the 20th century was the rapid series of breakthroughs in understanding the electronic, thermal, and mechanical properties of the crystalline solid state of matter. This was quickly followed by fundamental advances in understanding other states of matter in which order and symmetry play a central role. Such systems include ferromagnets, superconductors and superfluids, liquid crystals, dielectrics and ferroelectrics, and many others.

Our resulting deep physical and mathematical understanding of homogeneous systems in the solid and liquid state has been of both fundamental scientific and technological importance. The two are deeply interconnected, and together have spurred a profound technological revolution throughout the second half of the last century and into the current one.

However, a large gap remains in our understanding of the physics of condensed matter. There exist many systems, both familiar and unfamiliar, in which randomness or disorder plays a key role, and in which our mathematical and physical understanding remains comparatively primitive.

Ground state of spin
	 glass (sketch); frozen atomic magnetic moments point in random directions. See
	 Scientific American v. 260, pp. 52 -- 59 (1989).

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