Volume 87, Number 6, September 2009
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Section||Condensed Matter: Structural, Mechanical and Thermal Properties|
|Published online||12 October 2009|
Defect formation during a continuous phase transition
Department of Physics and Instituto de Física del Sur, IFISUR (UNS-CONICET) Além 1253, 8000 Bahía Blanca, Argentina
2 Planta Piloto de Ingeniería Química, PLAPIQUI (UNS-CONICET) - Bahía Blanca, Argentina
Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 9 September 2009
We study the process of defect formation during a continuous phase transition in an off-critical system. We focus on the spinodal-assisted nucleation regime, where the continuous amplification of density fluctuations induces the pseudo-nucleation of the equilibrium phase. The collision of the different propagating domains produces a domain structure with average domain size and density of defects strongly dependent on the cooling rate. The distribution of the topological defects is in good agreement with the cosmological Kibble-Zurek model proposed to determine the creation of topological defects during a symmetry-breaking phase transition.
PACS: 64.60.Bd – General theory of phase transitions / 61.72.Bb – Theories and models of crystal defects / 98.80.Cq – Particle-theory and field-theory of the early Universe (including cosmic pancakes, cosmic strings, chaotic phenomena, inflationary universe, etc.)
© EPLA, 2009
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