Disorder correlations at smeared phase transitions
Department of Physics, Missouri University of Science and Technology - Rolla, MO 65409, USA
Accepted: 8 December 2011
We investigate the influence of spatial disorder correlations on smeared phase transitions, taking the magnetic quantum phase transition in an itinerant magnet as an example. We find that even short-range correlations can have a dramatic effect and qualitatively change the behavior of observable quantities compared to the uncorrelated case. This is in marked contrast to conventional critical points, at which short-range correlated disorder and uncorrelated disorder lead to the same critical behavior. We develop an optimal fluctuation theory of the quantum phase transition in the presence of correlated disorder, and we illustrate the results by computer simulations. As an experimental application, we discuss the ferromagnetic quantum phase transition in Sr1−xCaxRuO3.
PACS: 05.30.Rt – Quantum phase transitions / 75.10.Lp – Band and itinerant models / 75.10.Nr – Spin-glass and other random models
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