Volume 84, Number 3, November 2008
|Number of page(s)||5|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||14 October 2008|
Critical phenomena in a highly constrained classical spin system: Néel ordering from the Coulomb phase
Theoretical Physics, University of Oxford - 1 Keble Road, Oxford, OX1 3NP, UK
Accepted: 16 September 2008
Many classical, geometrically frustrated antiferromagnets have macroscopically degenerate ground states. In a class of three-dimensional systems, the set of degenerate ground states has power law correlations and is an example of a Coulomb phase. We investigate Néel ordering from such a Coulomb phase, induced by weak additional interactions that lift the degeneracy. We show that the critical point belongs to a universality class that is different from the one for the equivalent transition out of the paramagnetic phase, and instead that this transition is characterised by effective long-range interactions; alternatively, ordering may be discontinuous. We suggest that a transition of this type may be realised by applying uniaxial stress to a pyrochlore antiferromagnet.
PACS: 64.70.-p – Specific phase transitions / 75.10.Hk – Classical spin models / 05.70.Jk – Critical point phenomena
© EPLA, 2008
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