We investigate the zero-temperature quantum phase transitions of the disordered three-color quantum Ashkin-Teller spin chain by means of large-scale Monte Carlo simulations. We find that the first-order phase transitions of the clean system are rounded by the quenched disorder. For weak intercolor coupling, the resulting emergent quantum critical point between the paramagnetic phase and the magnetically ordered Baxter phase is of infinite-randomness type and belongs to the universality class of the random transverse-field Ising model, as predicted by recent strong-disorder renormalization group calculations. We also find evidence for unconventional critical behavior in the case of strong intercolor coupling, even though an unequivocal determination of the universality class is beyond our numerical capabilities. We compare our results to earlier simulations, and we discuss implications for the classification of phase transitions in the presence of disorder.



Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for High Performance Computing Research

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

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© 2017 American Physical Society (APS), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2017

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Physics Commons