Nonequilibrium relaxation method — an alternative simulation strategy
One well-established simulation strategy to study the thermal phases and transitions of a given microscopic model system is the so-called equilibrium method, in which one first realizes the equilibrium ensemble of a finite system and then extrapolates the results to infinite system. This equilibrium method traces over the standard theory of the thermal statistical mechanics, and over the idea of the thermodynamic limit. Recently, an alternative simulation strategy has been developed, which analyzes the nonequilibrium relaxation (NER) process. It is called theNER method. NER method has some advantages over the equilibrium method. The NER method provides a simpler analyzing procedure. This implies less systematic error which is inevitable in the simulation and provides efficient resource usage. The NER method easily treats not only the thermodynamic limit but also other limits, for example, non-Gibbsian nonequilibrium steady states. So the NER method is also relevant for new fields of the statistical physics. Application of the NER method have been expanding to various problems: from basic first- and second-order transitions to advanced and exotic phases like chiral, KT spin-glass and quantum phases. These studies have provided, not only better estimations of transition point and exponents, but also qualitative developments. For example, the universality class of a random system, the nature of the two-dimensional melting and the scaling behavior of spin-glass aging phenomena have been clarified.
Volume 93 | Issue 6
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