Written for researchers in the field with different professional backgrounds, this volume classifies phenomena not by system but rather by the type of competing interactions involved. This allows for a straightforward presentation of the underlying principles and the universal laws governing the behaviour of different systems.
Starting with a historical overview, the author proceeds by describing self-competitions of various types of interactions (such as diploar or multipolar interactions), competitions between a short-range and a long-range interaction (as in Ising systems or DNA models) or between a long-range interaction and an anisotropy (as in ultrathin magnetic films or magnetic nanoparticles) and finally competitions between interactions of the same range (as in spin glasses).
Each chapter contains a few problems with solutions which provide suitable material for lecturers of mathematics and physics as well as biology courses.
A vast body of references to the original literature make the volume self-contained and ideally suited to master this interdisciplinary field.
Keywords: Condensed Matter