Volume 112, Number 3, November 2015
|Number of page(s)||6|
|Published online||24 November 2015|
Infinite-noise criticality: Nonequilibrium phase transitions in fluctuating environments
1 Department of Physics, Missouri University of Science and Technology - Rolla, MO 65409, USA
2 Instituto de Física de São Carlos, Universidade de São Paulo - C.P. 369, São Carlos, São Paulo 13560-970, Brazil
Received: 24 September 2015
Accepted: 3 November 2015
We study the effects of time-varying environmental noise on nonequilibrium phase transitions in spreading and growth processes. Using the examples of the logistic evolution equation as well as the contact process, we show that such temporal disorder gives rise to a distinct type of critical points at which the effective noise amplitude diverges on long time scales. This leads to enormous density fluctuations characterized by an infinitely broad probability distribution at criticality. We develop a real-time renormalization-group theory that provides a general framework for the effects of temporal disorder on nonequilibrium processes. We also discuss how general this exotic critical behavior is, we illustrate the results by computer simulations, and we touch upon experimental applications of our theory.
PACS: 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics / 64.60.Ht – Dynamic critical phenomena / 87.23.Cc – Population dynamics and ecological pattern formation
© EPLA, 2015
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