Dynamical test of phase transition order

P. E. Cladis, Wim Van Saarloos, David A. Huse, J. S. Patel, J. W. Goodby, P. L. Finn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations


The dynamics of the interface between an ordered phase, characterized by an order parameter, , and a disordered phase where =0 provide a promising, powerful tool to distinguish between continuous or second-order and weakly first-order phase transitions. We apply this idea to the nematic"smectic-A transition and find that this transition is weakly first order even when the latent heat is too small to measure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1764-1767
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number15
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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