Jorge Kurchan, LPS ENS Paris, France

Rugged phase-spaces and the dynamics within them (7.5h)

1. Introduction, phase-space landscape

Examples with few and with many minima

In many dimensions falling is not what you think: the example of coarsening

2. Threshold, barriers, ground state of mean-field models

3. Caveats for systems in finite dimensional space

Two nucleation arguments: impossibility of stable metastable states with higher free energy, and of having exponentially many states

What does this imply for the spatial structure of equilibrium states?

4. Dynamics: in and out of equilibrium

5. Time permitting: a bit of Morse theory