Real materials always contain randomness or disorder that cannot be expressed by idealized simple model systems. The present chapter studies the effects of randomness on phase transitions and critical phenomena. Although randomness may seem to obscure singular behaviour such as divergence of physical quantities at the critical temperature, it is established that well-defined phase transitions exist as long as randomness is not too strong, but the critical behaviour may get modified with respect to the pure sample. After the introduction of basic concepts and methods such as self-averaging and replica method, it is elucidated what type of phase transitions exist in the random-field Ising model and the SK model of spin glasses. Also explained are the percolation transitions using the fractal structure and the Potts model.
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