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Entropy production at criticality in a nonequilibrium Potts model

Martynec, Thomas; Klapp, Sabine H. L.; Loos, Sarah A. M.

Understanding nonequilibrium systems and the consequences of irreversibility for the system's behavior as compared to the equilibrium case, is a fundamental question in statistical physics. Here, we investigate two types of nonequilibrium phase transitions, a second-order and an infinite-order phase transition, in a prototypical q-state vector Potts model which is driven out of equilibrium by coupling the spins to heat baths at two different temperatures. We discuss the behavior of the quantities that are typically considered in the vicinity of (equilibrium) phase transitions, like the specific heat, and moreover investigate the behavior of the entropy production (EP), which directly quantifies the irreversibility of the process. For the second-order phase transition, we show that the universality class remains the same as in equilibrium. Further, the derivative of the EP rate with respect to the temperature diverges with a power-law at the critical point, but displays a non-universal critical exponent, which depends on the temperature difference, i.e., the strength of the driving. For the infinite-order transition, the derivative of the EP exhibits a maximum in the disordered phase, similar to the specific heat. However, in contrast to the specific heat, whose maximum is independent of the strength of the driving, the maximum of the derivative of the EP grows with increasing temperature difference. We also consider entropy fluctuations and find that their skewness increases with the driving strength, in both cases, in the vicinity of the second-order transition, as well as around the infinite-order transition.
Published in: New Journal of Physics, 10.1088/1367-2630/abb5f0, Institute of Physics Publishing