Models suggest that the earth and magnets crackle alike! We show how recent
studies on magnetizing avalanches ("Barkhausen Noise") in magnets driven by a
slowly increasing magnetic field shed light on modeling the statistics of
irregularly shaped fault zones, and motivate new ways to analyze seismic data.
In particular we focus on the universal, i.e. detail independent, effects of
disorder in both
cases. The studies draw on methods from the theory of phase transitions.
Applications to other crackling systems are also discussed.
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