We study the effects of quenched disorder on the first-order phase transition in the two-dimensional three-color Ashkin-Teller model by means of large-scale Monte Carlo simulations. We demonstrate that the first-order phase transition is rounded by the disorder and turns into a continuous one. Using a careful finite-size-scaling analysis, we provide strong evidence for the emerging critical behavior of the disordered Ashkin-Teller model to be in the clean two-dimensional Ising universality class, accompanied by universal logarithmic corrections. This agrees with perturbative renormalization-group predictions by Cardy. As a byproduct, we also provide support for the strong-universality scenario for the critical behavior of the two-dimensional disordered Ising model. We discuss consequences of our results for the classification of disordered phase transitions as well as generalizations to other systems.
Q. Zhu et al., "Emerging Criticality in the Disordered Three-Color Ashkin-Teller Model," Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, vol. 91, no. 22, American Physical Society (APS), Jun 2015.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.91.224201
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