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Statistical Mechanics - Homework Assignment 6

Alejandro G´omez Espinosa

May 3, 2013
Pathria 12.20 Consider a system with a modified expression for the Landau free energy, namely
ψ
h
(t, m) = −hm + q(t) + r(t)m
2
+ s(t)m
4
+ u(t)m
6
(1)
with u(t) a fixed positive constant. Minimize ψ with respect to the variable m and examine the
spontaneous magnetization m
0
as a function of the parameters r and s. In particular, show the
following
(a) For r > 0 and s > −(3ur)
1/2
, m
0
= 0 is the only real solution.
Let us minimize first the relation (1), asuming that h = 0:
∂ψ
∂m
= 2rm + 4sm
3
+ 6um
5
= 0
0 = m(2r + 4sm
2
+ 6um
4
) (2)
Then, using (2), we can solve for m:
m =
¸
−4s ±
_
16s
2
−4(6u)2r
12u
therefore m must be a positive value since is the square root of a function. Also, s must be
bigger than −(3ur)
1/2
if the term

16s
2
−48ur is a real number. Hence, the only real solution
according to (2) must be m = 0.
(b) For r > 0 and −(4ur)
1/2
< s ≤ −(3ur)
1/2
, m
0
= 0 or ±m
1
, where m
2
1
=

(s
2
−3ur)−s
3u
.
However, the minimum of ψ at m
0
= 0 is lower than the minima at m
0
= ±m
1
, so the
ultimate equilibrium value of m
0
is 0.
In this case, let us work more with the term inside the square root:
m
2
=
−4s ±

16s
2
−48ur
12u
=
−4s ±4

s
2
−3ur
12u
=
−s ±

s
2
−3ur
3u

gomez@physics.rutgers.edu
1
where if the value of s is −(4ur)
1/2
< s ≤ −(3ur)
1/2
, the square root has a real value. Now,
let us take the lowest value of s, i.e. −(4ur)
1/2
:
m
2
1
=
(4ur)
1/2
±
_
(−(4ur)
1/2
)
2
−3ur
3u
=
(4ur)
1/2
±

4ur −3ur
3u
=
(4ur)
1/2
±(ur)
1/2
3u
=
(ur)
1/2
(

4 ±1)
3u
=
(ur)
1/2
(2 ±1)
3u
Taking the minus sign of the term in the brakets, the result m
2
1
=
r
1/2
3u
1/2
is a positive value.
Therefore, the minima of the function in this conditions is again m = 0.
(c) For r > 0 and s = −(4ur)
1/2
, m
0
= 0 or ±(r/u)
1/4
. Now, the minimum of ψ at m
0
= 0 is
the same height as the ones at m
0
= ±(r/u)
1/4
, so a nonzero spontaneous magnetization is as
likely to occur as the zero one.
Using the positive value in the previous result:
m
2
1
=
(ur)
1/2
(2 + 1)
3u
=
(ur)
1/2
u
=
_
r
u
_
1/2
m
1
= ±
_
r
u
_
1/4
In this case, since m
1
= −
_
r
u
_
1/4
is lower than zero, this nonzero minima will produce a
spontaneous magnetization.
(d) For r > 0 and s < −(4ur)
1/2
, m
0
= ±m
1
- which implies a first-order phase transition (because
the two possible states available here differ by a finite amount in m). The line s = −(4ur)
1/2
,
with r positive, is generally referred to as a ”line of first-order phase transitions”.
Without lossing generality, let pick a value of s lower than −(4ur)
1/2
, i.e. −(5ur)
1/2
:
m
2
1
=
(5ur)
1/2
±
_
(−(5ur)
1/2
)
2
−3ur
3u
=
(5ur)
1/2
±

5ur −3ur
3u
=
(4ur)
1/2
±(2ur)
1/2
3u
=
(ur)
1/2
(

5 ±

2)
3u
that is a positive value. Notice that +m
1
will differ from −m
1
, in this case by

2. These two
values represent the two possible states available.
2
(e) For r = 0 and s < 0, m
0
= ±(2|s|/3u)
1/2
.
For this case, let us replace this values into (2):
0 = −4sm
2
+ 6um
4
knowing that one solution is still m = 0. Then:
0 = −2s + 3um
2
⇒ m = ±
_
2|s|
3u
_
1/2
(f ) For r < 0, m
0
= ±m
1
for all s. As r →0, m
1
→0 if s is positive.
First, in the case that m →0, the term m
2
in (1) is the leading order and we can neglect them.
Then if r > 0, m = 0 is the only solution for this case.
Now let us use this values into the minimize function, given by:
0 = −2r + 4sm
2
+ 6um
4
= −r + 2sm
2
+ 3um
2
where the solutions are:
m
1
= ±
¸
−s ±2

s
2
+ 3ur
3u
−−−→
r→0
±
_
−s ±2s
3u
The only real solution is when m
1
= ±
_
s
3u
if s is positive.
(g) For r = 0 and s > 0, m
0
= 0 is only solution. Combining this result with (f ), we conclude that
the line r = 0, with s positive, is a ”line of second-order phase transitions,” for the two states
available here differ by a vanishing amount in m.
Using the last result of (f):
m
1
= ±
¸
−s ±2

s
2
+ 3ur
3u
−−→
r=0
±
_
−s ±2s
3u
If s is positive, we can only take the negative sign of the square root, then: m
1
= ±(
s
3u
)
3/2
.
The lines of first-order pahse transitions and second-order phase transitions meet at the point
(r = 0, s = 0), which is commonly referred to as a tricritical point (Griffiths,1970).
The different cases are represent in the Figure 1, in the (r-s)-plane, for a better understanding.
Pathria 12.21 In the preceding problem, put s = 0 and approach the tricitical point along the r-axis,
setting r ∼ r
1
t. Show that the critical exponents pertaining to the tricritical point in this model are
α =
1
2
, β =
1
4
, γ = 1, and δ = 5 (3)
Plugging these values into relation (1) and minimize it:
ψ
h
(t, m) = −hm + q + r
1
tm
2
+ um
6
(4)
∂ψ
∂m
|
m=m
0
= −h + 2r
1
tm
0
+ 6um
5
0
= 0
h = 2m
0
(r
1
t + 3um
4
0
) (5)
3
s
-10 -8 -6 -4 -2 0 2 4 6 8 10
r
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Figure 1: Parameter space (r−s) for the Landau free energy described in (1). Here, the red line represents
the values of m when s = −

3ur (taken u = 1 for simplicity). The blue line represents s = −

4ur a the
first order line and the green line is the second order line. The value of m below the blue and green line
are different than zero, while everything above these lines m = 0. Only in the region between the red and
blue line m = 0 and m = 0. The tricritical point is at (0,0) where the three lines get together.
For (5), if h = 0, it is clear that one of the possible solutions of m
0
is:
m
0

_
r
1
t
3u
_
1/4
⇒ β =
1
4
then,
χ =
_
∂h
∂m
_
−1
=
1
2r
1
t + 30um
4
0

1
2r
1
t
if t > 0, m
0
→0
Hence, γ = 1. Next, if t = 0, equation (5) became:
h = 6um
5
0
⇒ δ = 5
Finally, using the thermodynamic inequality:
α + 2β + γ ≥ 2
α + 2
_
1
4
_
+ 1 = 2
α = 2 −
3
2
=
1
2
4