Classification of phase transitions in small systems

Peter Borrmann   Phone: +49-(0)441-798-3362   Fax: +49-(0)441-798-3201
Oliver Muelken   Phone: +49-(0)441-798-3467   Fax: +49-(0)441-798-3201
Jens Harting   Phone: +49-(0)441-798-3467   Fax: +49-(0)441-798-3201

Small systems group   University of Oldenburg, Germany


Date: 19990913

Article: published in Phys. Rev. Lett., Vol. 84, pp. 3511 -- 3514 (2000)

phase transition, finite systems, bose-einstein condensation, argon cluster, canonical ensemble, zeros, complex temperature

We present a classification scheme for phase transitions in finite
systems like atomic and molecular clusters based on the Lee-Yang zeros in the
complex temperature plane. In the limit of infinite particle numbers the scheme
reduces to the Ehrenfest definition of phase transitions and gives the right
critical indices. We apply this classification scheme to Bose-Einstein
condensates in a harmonic trap as an example of a higher order phase
transitions in a finite system and to small Ar clusters.

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