Non-Equilibrium Disordering Processes In binary Systems Due to an Active Agent

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Virginia Tech


In this thesis, we study the kinetic disordering of systems interacting with an agent or a walker. Our studies divide naturally into two classes: for the first, the dynamics of the walker conserves the total magnetization of the system, for the second, it does not. These distinct dynamics are investigated in part I and II respectively.

In part I, we investigate the disordering of an initially phase-segregated binary alloy due to a highly mobile vacancy which exchanges with the alloy atoms. This dynamics clearly conserves the total magnetization. We distinguish three versions of dynamic rules for the vacancy motion, namely a pure random walk , an "active" and a biased walk. For the random walk case, we review and reproduce earlier work by Z. Toroczkai et. al., [9] which will serve as our base-line. To test the robustness of these findings and to make our model more accessible to experimental studies, we investigated the effects of finite temperatures ("active walks") as well as external fields (biased walks). To monitor the disordering process, we define a suitable disorder parameter, namely the number of broken bonds, which we study as a function of time, system size and vacancy number. Using Monte Carlo simulations and a coarse-grained field theory, we observe that the disordering process exhibits three well separated temporal regimes. We show that the later stages exhibit dynamic scaling, characterized by a set of exponents and scaling functions. For the random and the biased case, these exponents and scaling functions are computed analytically in excellent agreement with the simulation results. The exponents are remarkably universal. We conclude this part with some comments on the early stage, the interfacial roughness and other related features.

In part II, we introduce a model of binary data corruption induced by a Brownian agent or random walker. Here, the magnetization is not conserved, being related to the density of corrupted bits ρ. Using both continuum theory and computer simulations, we study the average density of corrupted bits, and the associated density-density correlation function, as well as several other related quantities. In the second half, we extend our investigations in three main directions which allow us to make closer contact with real binary systems. These are i) a detailed analysis of two dimensions, ii) the case of competing agents, and iii) the cases of asymmetric and quenched random couplings. Our analytic results are in good agreement with simulation results. The remarkable finding of this study is the robustness of the phenomenological model which provides us with the tool, continuum theory, to understand the nature of such a simple model.



Vacancy-mediated dynamics, Non-equilibrium processes, Monte Carlo, Brownian motion, Dynamic scaling, Random walk, Disordering process, Mean-field theory, Ising model, Data corruption