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Title: UNIVERSALITY OF PHASE TRANSITION DYNAMICS: TOPOLOGICAL DEFECTS FROM SYMMETRY BREAKING

In the course of a non-equilibrium continuous phase transition, the dynamics ceases to be adiabatic in the vicinity of the critical point as a result of the critical slowing down (the divergence of the relaxation time in the neighborhood of the critical point). This enforces a local choice of the broken symmetry and can lead to the formation of topological defects. The Kibble-Zurek mechanism (KZM) was developed to describe the associated nonequilibrium dynamics and to estimate the density of defects as a function of the quench rate through the transition. During recent years, several new experiments investigating formation of defects in phase transitions induced by a quench both in classical and quantum mechanical systems were carried out. At the same time, some established results were called into question. We review and analyze the Kibble-Zurek mechanism focusing in particular on this surge of activity, and suggest possible directions for further progress.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1120720
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-14-20940
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25396
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
74 ATOMIC AND MOLECULAR PHYSICS TOPOLOGICAL DEFECTS; PHASE TRANSITIONS; KIBBLE-ZUREK MECHANISM; SPONTANEOUS SYMMETRY BREAKING