Scaling and Finite-Size Scaling above the Upper Critical Dimension

Ralph Kenna, B. Berche

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    9 Citations (Scopus)


    In the 1960's, four famous scaling relations were developed which relate the six standard critical exponents describing continuous phase transitions in the thermodynamic limit of statistical physics models. They are well understood at a fundamental level through the renormalization group. They have been verified in multitudes of theoretical, computational and experimental studies and are firmly established and profoundly important for our understanding of critical phenomena. One of the scaling relations, hyperscaling, fails above the upper critical dimension. There, critical phenomena are governed by Gaussian fixed points in the renormalization-group formalism. Dangerous irrelevant variables are required to deliver the mean-field and Landau values of the critical exponents, which are deemed valid by the Ginzburg criterion. Also above the upper critical dimension, the standard picture is that, unlike for low-dimensional systems, finite-size scaling is non-universal, at least at the critical point. Here we report on new developments which indicate that the current paradigm is flawed and incomplete. In particular, the introduction of a new exponent characterising the finite-size correlation length allows one to extend hyperscaling beyond the upper critical dimension. Moreover, finite-size scaling is shown to be universal provided the correct scaling window is chosen. These recent developments above the upper critical dimension also lead to the introduction of a new scaling relation analogous to one introduced by Fisher 50 years ago and deliver a statistical physics explanation for the emergence of effective four dimensionality as characteristic of generic field theories.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationOrder, Disorder and Criticality: Advanced Problems of Phase Transition Theory
    EditorsYurij Holovatch
    PublisherWorld Scientific
    ISBN (Print)978-981-4632-69-0, 978-981-4632-67-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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