# Stealing the Gold: A celebration of the pioneering physics of Sam Edwards

## Paul Goldbart, Nigel Goldenfeld, and David Sherrington

### Abstract

The collection of trails blazed by Sam Edwards during half a century of fundamental research in theoretical physics is truly astonishing. He led theoretical physics into uncharted territories from his roots in quantum field theory — beginning with his seminal work on the transport properties of disordered metals, and continuing to the present day with his ground-breaking efforts to create a statistical mechanics of granular materials. Along the way, he and his collaborators developed the first modern theory of polymers in solution and in the rubbery state; created and explored the tube concept ... More

The collection of trails blazed by Sam Edwards during half a century of fundamental research in theoretical physics is truly astonishing. He led theoretical physics into uncharted territories from his roots in quantum field theory — beginning with his seminal work on the transport properties of disordered metals, and continuing to the present day with his ground-breaking efforts to create a statistical mechanics of granular materials. Along the way, he and his collaborators developed the first modern theory of polymers in solution and in the rubbery state; created and explored the tube concept, which has had momentous implications for understanding the viscoelasticity of polymer melts; formulated the spin-glass problem and provided its first solutions using the method of replicas — work that has had profound implications in areas as diverse as combinatorial optimization, neural networks, as well as glassy systems; made important contributions to the still-unsolved problem of Navier-Stokes turbulence; and initiated the recent explosion of activity in the dynamics of growing interfaces. This book celebrates Sam's impact by collecting together and reprinting eleven of his papers, each of which played a seminal role and started a new field of study, each followed by one or more original articles by experts in the relevant fields demonstrating how the topics Sam started have developed to the modern day.

*Keywords: *
Sam Edwards,
condensed matter physics,
disordered systems,
spin glasses,
soft matter,
polymers,
turbulence,
powders,
granular materials,
statistical mechanics

### Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 |
Print ISBN-13: 9780198528531 |

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007 |
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198528531.001.0001 |

### Authors

#### Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Paul Goldbart, *editor*

Dept of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Nigel Goldenfeld, *editor*

Dept of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

David Sherrington, *author*

Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford

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