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The Electron Glass by A. Frydman, M. Ortuño, M. Pollak

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3

Basics of glasses

A glass is a system that does not reach thermodynamic equilibrium during any reasonable experimental time. Therefore, the traditional well-established statistical mechanics methods cannot be applied to such systems. In particular, two concepts that are fundamental to statistical mechanics, namely, ergodicity and the fluctuation–dissipation theorem, cannot be utilized in discussing properties of glasses. This chapter will discuss in more detail the problems inherent in applying these two concepts to glasses and will outline some more of the basic properties of glassy systems. Among glasses, spin glasses are the most similar to electron glasses so their main properties and proposed models will be reviewed. The chapter ends ...

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