Phase lines in mean-field models with nonuniform external forces

Roni Kroll, Yoav Tsori

Research output: Working paper/PreprintPreprint

21 Downloads (Pure)


We look at the influence of external fields on systems described by generic free energy functional of the order parameter. The external force may have arbitrary spatial dependence and the coupling to the order parameter may be nonlinear. The treatment generalizes seemingly disparate works, such as pure fluids, liquid and polymer mixtures, lipid monolayers, and colloidal suspensions in electric fields, fluids and nematics in gravity, solutions in an ultracentrifuge, and liquid mixtures in laser radiation. The phase lines and thermodynamic behavior are calculated on the mean-field level. We find a "surface" critical point that can be shifted to higher or lower temperatures compared to the bulk critical point. Below this point, the transition from a "gas" phase to a "liquid" phase is first-order, while above it the transition is second-order. Moreover, the susceptibility may diverge at a finite location ${\bf r}$. Several analytical expressions are given in the limit where a Landau expansion of the free energy is valid.
Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 13 Apr 2022


  • cond-mat.stat-mech
  • cond-mat.soft


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