Hysteresis, Barkhausen noise, and disorder induced critical behavior

Karin A. Dahmen, James P. Sethna, Olga Perković

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Hysteresis loops are often observed in experiments at first order phase transformations when the system goes out of equilibrium. They may have a macroscopic jump, roughly as seen in the supercooling of liquids, or they may be smoothly varying, as seen in most magnets. The nonequilibrium zero-temperature random-field Ising-model can be used to model hysteretic behavior at first order phase transformations: as the disorder is decreased, one finds a transition from smooth hysteresis loops to loops with a sharp jump in magnetization (corresponding to an infinite avalanche). In a large region near the transition point the model exhibits power law distributions of noise (avalanches), universal behavior and a diverging length scale. Universal properties of this critical point are reported that were obtained using renormalization group methods and numerical simulations. Connections to experimental systems such as athermal martensitic phase transitions (with and without "bursts") and the Barkhausen effect in magnetic systems are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3150-3154
Number of pages5
JournalIEEE Transactions on Magnetics
Issue number5 I
StatePublished - Sep 2000
Event2000 International Magnetics Conference (INTERMAG 2000) - Toronto, Ont, Canada
Duration: Apr 9 2000Apr 12 2000


  • Barkhausen noise
  • Critical scaling
  • Disorder
  • Hysteresis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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