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Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena$
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Jean Zinn-Justin

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198509233

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198509233.001.0001

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Mean Field Theory For Ferromagnetic Systems

Mean Field Theory For Ferromagnetic Systems

Quantum Field Theory and Critical Phenomena


Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a simple approximation scheme — the mean field approximation — which allows a study of the neighbourhood of the transition temperature. It distinguishes between first and second order phase transitions. In the latter case, the correlation length diverges at the critical (transition) temperature. This has important physical consequences: in the mean field approximation, the singular behaviour of thermodynamic quantities at the critical temperature, and more generally in the neighbourhood of the critical temperature and in small magnetic field, is universal, that is, does not depend on the details of the interactions, on the dimension of space and, in the high temperature phase at least, on the symmetry of the models.

Keywords:   mean field approxiation, transition temperature, phase transitions

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