This book reviews some of the classic aspects in the theory of phase transitions and critical phenomena, which has a long history. Recently, these aspects are attracting much attention due to essential new contributions. The topics presented in this book include: mathematical theory of the Ising model; equilibrium and non-equilibrium criticality of one-dimensional quantum spin chains; influence of structural disorder on the critical behaviour of the Potts model; criticality, fractality and multifractality of linked polymers; field-theoretical approaches in the superconducting phase transitions.The book is based on the review lectures that were given in Lviv (Ukraine) in March 2002 at the “Ising lectures” — a traditional annual workshop on phase transitions and critical phenomena which aims to bring together scientists working in the field of phase transitions with university students and those who are interested in the subject.

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