Critical Phenomena for Field Theorists
Many of us who are not habitually concerned with problems in statistical physics have gradually been becoming aware of dramatic progress in that field. The mystery surrounding the phenomenon of second-order phase transitions seems to have lifted, and theorists now seem to be able to explain all sorts of scaling laws associated with these transitions, and even (more or less) to calculate the “critical exponents” of the scaling laws.1 Furthermore, the methods used to solve these problems appear to have a profound connection with the methods of field theory — one overhears talk of “renormalization group equations”, “infrared divergences”, “ultraviolet cut-offs”, and so on. It is natural to conclude that field theorists have a lot to learn from their statistical brethren.
KeywordsPartition Function Boson Mass Critical Phenomenon Finite Temperature Coupling Function
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