Nonequilibrium phase transitions in a Brownian p -state clock model

Chul Ung Woo, Jae Dong Noh

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We introduce a Brownian p-state clock model in two dimensions and investigate the nature of phase transitions numerically. As a nonequilibrium extension of the equilibrium lattice model, the Brownian p-state clock model allows spins to diffuse randomly in the two-dimensional space of area L2 under periodic boundary conditions. We find three distinct phases for p>4: a disordered paramagnetic phase, a quasi-long-range-ordered critical phase, and an ordered ferromagnetic phase. In the intermediate critical phase, the magnetization order parameter follows a power-law scaling m∼L-β, where the finite-size scaling exponent β varies continuously. These critical behaviors are reminiscent of the double Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) transition picture of the equilibrium system. At the transition to the disordered phase, the exponent takes the universal value β=1/8, which coincides with that of the equilibrium system. This result indicates that the BKT transition driven by the unbinding of topological excitations is robust against the particle diffusion. On the contrary, the exponent at the symmetry-breaking transition to the ordered phase deviates from the universal value β=2/p2 of the equilibrium system. The deviation is attributed to a nonequilibrium effect from the particle diffusion.

Original languageEnglish
Article number014105
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2024


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