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Lecture# Renormalization Group: Universal Critical Exponents

Description

This lecture introduces the concept of the renormalization group, focusing on the universal critical exponents of different microscopic systems. The instructor discusses the importance of understanding why these exponents vary and how the renormalization group helps answer this question.

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In course

PHYS-316: Statistical physics II

Introduction à la théorie des transitions de phase

Related concepts (80)

Instructor

Related lectures (32)

Critical exponent

Critical exponents describe the behavior of physical quantities near continuous phase transitions. It is believed, though not proven, that they are universal, i.e. they do not depend on the details of the physical system, but only on some of its general features. For instance, for ferromagnetic systems, the critical exponents depend only on: the dimension of the system the range of the interaction the spin dimension These properties of critical exponents are supported by experimental data.

Renormalization group

In theoretical physics, the term renormalization group (RG) refers to a formal apparatus that allows systematic investigation of the changes of a physical system as viewed at different scales. In particle physics, it reflects the changes in the underlying force laws (codified in a quantum field theory) as the energy scale at which physical processes occur varies, energy/momentum and resolution distance scales being effectively conjugate under the uncertainty principle. A change in scale is called a scale transformation.

Critical phenomena

In physics, critical phenomena is the collective name associated with the physics of critical points. Most of them stem from the divergence of the correlation length, but also the dynamics slows down. Critical phenomena include scaling relations among different quantities, power-law divergences of some quantities (such as the magnetic susceptibility in the ferromagnetic phase transition) described by critical exponents, universality, fractal behaviour, and ergodicity breaking.

Fixed-point theorem

In mathematics, a fixed-point theorem is a result saying that a function F will have at least one fixed point (a point x for which F(x) = x), under some conditions on F that can be stated in general terms. The Banach fixed-point theorem (1922) gives a general criterion guaranteeing that, if it is satisfied, the procedure of iterating a function yields a fixed point.

Fixed point (mathematics)

hatnote|1=Fixed points in mathematics are not to be confused with other uses of "fixed point", or stationary points where math|1=f(x) = 0. In mathematics, a fixed point (sometimes shortened to fixpoint), also known as an invariant point, is a value that does not change under a given transformation. Specifically for functions, a fixed point is an element that is mapped to itself by the function. Formally, c is a fixed point of a function f if c belongs to both the domain and the codomain of f, and f(c) = c.

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