Disorder-driven first-order phase transformations: A model for hysteresis

Karin Dahmen, Sivan Kartha, James A. Krumhansl, Bruce W. Roberts, James P. Sethna, Joel D. Shore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hysteresis loops in some magnetic systems are composed of small avalanches (manifesting themselves as Barkhausen pulses). Hysteresis loops in other first-order phase transitions (including some magnetic systems) often occur via one large avalanche. The transition between these two limiting cases is studied, by varying the disorder in the zero-temperature random-field Ising model. Sweeping the external field through zero at weak disorder, we get one large avalanche with small precursors and aftershocks. At strong disorder, we get a distribution of small avalanches (small Barkhausen effect). At the critical value of disorder where a macroscopic jump in the magnetization first occurs, universal power-law behavior of the magnetization and of the distribution of (Barkhausen) avalanches is found. This transition is studied by mean-field theory, perturbative expansions, and numerical simulation in three dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5946-5948
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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