Non-equilibrium dynamics of topological defects in the 3d O(2) model

Edgar López-Contreras, Jaime Fabián Nieto Castellanos, Elías Natanael Polanco-Euán, Wolfgang Bietenholz
High Energy Physics - Lattice, High Energy Physics - Lattice (hep-lat)
2023-11-22 00:00:00
We present a study of the 3d O(2) non-linear $\sigma$-model on the lattice, which exhibits topological defects in the form of vortices. They tend to organize into vortex lines that bear close analogies with global cosmic strings. Therefore, this model serves as a testbed for studying the dynamics of topological defects. It undergoes a second order phase transition, hence it is appropriate for investigating the Kibble-Zurek mechanism. In this regard, we explore the persistence of topological defects when the temperature is rapidly reduced from above to below the critical temperature; this cooling (or "quenching") process takes the system out of equilibrium. We probe a wide range of inverse cooling rates $\tau_{\rm Q}$ and final temperatures, employing distinct Monte Carlo algorithms. The results consistently show that the density of persisting topological defects follows a power-law in $\tau_{\rm Q}$, in agreement with Zurek's conjecture. On the other hand, at this point our results do not confirm Zurek's prediction for the exponent in this power-law, but its final test is still under investigation.
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