Document Type

Article

Publication Date

3-18-1994

Publication Title

Physical Review Letters

Abstract

The dynamics of weak vs. strong first order phase transitions is investigated numerically for 2+1 dimensional scalar field models. It is argued that the change from a weak to a strong transition is itself a (second order) phase transition, with the order parameter being the equilibrium fractional population difference between the two phases at the critical temperature, and the control parameter being the coefficient of the cubic coupling in the free-energy density. The critical point is identified, and a power law controlling the relaxation dynamics at this point is obtained. Possible applications are briefly discussed.

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevLett.73.3495

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