Boring (?) First-Order Transitions

Statistical Physics and Complexity Group meeting

Boring (?) First-Order Transitions

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 25th June 2014
  • Speaker: Des Johnston (Heriot-Watt University)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

To some extent first-order phase transitions have been the poor cousins of continuous transitions when it comes to numerical and theoretical investigations, in spite of their prevalence in nature. There are several reasons for this, including:

1) they are hard to simulate 2) there aren't so many different numbers to measure/calculate compared to second order transitions

In the talk we discuss how to derive the finite-size scaling behaviour at first-order phase transitions using straightforward heuristic arguments (which agree to leading order with fancier treatments), and compare with second order transitions. We also mention cases where the standard first order scaling doesn't apply - either because of non-periodic boundary conditions or macroscopic degeneracies.