Equilibrium pure states and nonequilibrium chaos

C. M. Newman, D. L. Stein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We consider nonequilibrium systems such as the Edwards-Anderson Ising spin glass at a temperature where, in equilibrium, there are presumed to be (two or many) broken-symmetry pure states. Following a deep quench, we argue that as time t → ∞, although the system is usually in some pure state locally, either it never settles permanently on a fixed length scale into a single pure state, or it does, but then the pure state depends on both the initial spin configuration and the realization of the stochastic dynamics. But this latter case can occur only if there exists an uncountable number of pure states (for each coupling realization) with almost every pair having zero overlap. In both cases, almost no initial spin configuration is in the basin of attraction of a single pure state; that is, the configuration space (resulting from a deep quench) is all boundary (except for a set of measure zero). We prove that the former case holds for deeply quenched 2D ferromagnets. Our results raise the possibility that even if more than one pure state exists for an infinite system, time averages do not necessarily disagree with Boltzmann averages.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)709-722
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Statistical Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 1999


  • Broken ergodicity
  • Coarsening
  • Damage spreading
  • Deep quench
  • Nonequilibrium dynamics
  • Persistence
  • Spin glass
  • Stochastic Ising model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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