Collective non-equilibrium dynamics at surfaces and the spatio-temporal edge
1 SISSA - International School for Advanced Studies and INFN - via Bonomea 265, 34136 Trieste, Italy, EU
2 Department of Physics, Virginia Tech - Blacksburg, VA, 24061-0435, USA
Received: 1 October 2012
Accepted: 9 November 2012
Symmetries represent a fundamental constraint for physical systems and relevant new phenomena often emerge as a consequence of their breaking. An important example is provided by space- and time-translational invariance in statistical systems, which hold at a coarse-grained scale in equilibrium and are broken by spatial and temporal boundaries, the former being implemented by surfaces —unavoidable in real samples— the latter by some initial condition for the dynamics which causes a non-equilibrium evolution. While the separate effects of these two boundaries are well understood, we demonstrate here that additional, unexpected features arise upon approaching the effective edge formed by their intersection. For this purpose, we focus on the classical semi-infinite Ising model with spin-flip dynamics evolving out of equilibrium at its critical point. Considering both subcritical and critical values of the coupling among surface spins, we present numerical evidence of a scaling regime with universal features which emerges upon approaching the spatio-temporal edge and we rationalise these findings within a field-theoretical approach.
PACS: 64.60.Ht – Dynamic critical phenomena / 64.60.De – Statistical mechanics of model systems (Ising model, Potts model, field-theory models, Monte Carlo techniques, etc.) / 68.35.Rh – Phase transitions and critical phenomena
© EPLA, 2012