Abstract

We investigate the effects of quenched disorder on first-order quantum phase transitions on the example of the N-color quantum Ashkin-Teller model. By means of a strong-disorder renormalization group, we demonstrate that quenched disorder rounds the first-order quantum phase transition to a continuous one for both weak and strong coupling between the colors. In the strong-coupling case, we find a distinct type of infinite-randomness critical point characterized by additional internal degrees of freedom. We investigate its critical properties in detail and find stronger thermodynamic singularities than in the random transverse field Ising chain. We also discuss the implications for higher spatial dimensions as well as unusual aspects of our renormalization-group scheme.

Department(s)

Physics

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1098-0121

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2012 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Included in

Physics Commons

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