From 1975 to 1995, statistical physics underwent a paradigm shift, as replica symmetry breaking was first properly formulated, and then gradually developed by the physics and mathematical communities. Recent advances in the physics of glasses, inference, and machine learning, among others, are rooted in this major yet somewhat obscure theoretical development. For posterity and future study, a series of interviews with the original scientific participants are being conducted and deposited Centre d’Archives de Philosophie, d’Histoire et d’Édition des Sciences (CAPHÉS) of École normale supérieure de Paris (ENS). 

Principal Investigator: Patrick Charbonneau, Professor of Chemistry and Physics, Duke University 

Co-Principal Investigator: Francesco Zamponi, Directeur de Recherche CNRS, Laboratoire de Physique Théorique, École normale supérieure 

An initial article about the project was recently published : P. Charbonneau, « From the replica trick to the replica symmetry breaking technique, » IAMP News Bulletin 2022 (October), 5-25 (2022). arXiv:2211.01802 [physics.hist-ph].