Disorder versus the Mermin-Wagner-Hohenberg effect: From classical spin systems to ultracold atomic gases

J. Wehr, A. Niederberger, L. Sanchez-Palencia, M. Lewenstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Scopus citations


We propose a general mechanism of random-field-induced order (RFIO), in which long-range order is induced by a random field that breaks the continuous symmetry of the model. We particularly focus on the case of the classical ferromagnetic XY model on a two-dimensional lattice, in a uniaxial random field. We prove rigorously that the system has spontaneous magnetization at temperature T=0, and we present strong evidence that this is also the case for small T>0. We discuss generalizations of this mechanism to various classical and quantum systems. In addition, we propose possible realizations of the RFIO mechanism, using ultracold atoms in an optical lattice. Our results shed new light on controversies in existing literature, and open a way to realize RFIO with ultracold atomic systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number224448
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number22
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics

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