Hysteresis and hierarchies: Dynamics of disorder-driven first-order phase transformations

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We use the zero-temperature random-field Ising model to study hysteretic behavior at first-order phase transitions. Sweeping the external field through zero, the model exhibits hysteresis, the return-point memory effect, and avalanche fluctuations. There is a critical value of disorder at which a jump in the magnetization (corresponding to an infinite avalanche) first occurs. We study the universal behavior at this critical point using mean-field theory, and also present results of numerical simulations in three dimensions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3347-3350
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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