Sunday, August 4, 2013

1308.0144 (Adam Nahum et al.)

Phase transitions in 3D loop models and the $CP^{n-1}$ $σ$ model    [PDF]

Adam Nahum, J. T. Chalker, P. Serna, M. Ortuno, A. M. Somoza
We consider the statistical mechanics of a class of models involving close-packed loops with fugacity $n$ on three-dimensional lattices. The models exhibit phases of two types as a coupling constant is varied: in one, all loops are finite, and in the other, some loops are infinitely extended. We show that the loop models are discretisations of $CP^{n-1}$ $\sigma$ models. The finite and infinite loop phases represent, respectively, disordered and ordered phases of the $\sigma$ model, and we discuss the relationship between loop properties and $\sigma$ model correlators. On large scales, loops are Brownian in an ordered phase and have a non-trivial fractal dimension at a critical point. We simulate the models, finding continuous transitions between the two phases for $n=1,2,3$ and first order transitions for $n\geq 4$. We also give a renormalisation group treatment of the $CP^{n-1}$ model that shows how a continuous transition can survive for values of $n$ larger than (but close to) two, despite the presence of a cubic invariant in the Landau-Ginzburg description. The results we obtain are of broader relevance to a variety of problems, including SU(n) quantum magnets in (2+1) dimensions, Anderson localisation in symmetry class C, and the statistics of random curves in three dimensions.
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