Discontinuous Transition in a Boundary Driven Contact Process

Condensed Matter lunchtime seminar

Discontinuous Transition in a Boundary Driven Contact Process

  • Event time: 1:00pm
  • Event date: 24th May 2010
  • Speaker: Andre Costa (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

The contact process is a stochastic process which exhibits a continuous, absorbing-state phase transition in the Directed Percolation (DP) Universality Class. In this work, we consider a contact process with a bias in conjunction with an active wall. This model exhibits waves of activity emanating from the active wall and, when the system is supercritical, propagating indefinitely as travelling (Fisher) waves. In the subcritical phase the activity is localised near the wall. We study the phase transition numerically and show that certain properties of the system, for example the wave velocity, are discontinuous across the transition. Using a modified Fisher equation to model the system we elucidate the mechanism by which the the discontinuity arises. Furthermore we establish relations between properties of the travelling wave and DP critical exponents.

This is a weekly series of informal talks given primarily by members of the soft condensed matter and statistical mechanics groups, but is also open to members of other groups and external visitors. The aim of the series is to promote discussion and learning of various topics at a level suitable to the broad background of the group. Everyone is welcome to attend..

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