SPONTANEOUS SYMMETRY-BREAKING - EXACT RESULTS FOR A BIASED RANDOM-WALK MODEL OF AN EXCLUSION PROCESS

C GODRECHE*, JM LUCK, MR EVANS, D MUKAMEL, S SANDOW, ER SPEER

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

It has been recently suggested that a totally asymmetric exclusion process with two species on an open chain could exhibit spontaneous symmetry breaking in some range of the parameters defining its dynamics. The symmetry breaking is manifested by the existence of a phase in which the densities of the two species are not equal. In order to provide a more rigorous basis to these observations we consider the limit of the process when the rate at which particles leave the system goes to zero. In this limit the process reduces to a biased random walk in the positive quarter plane, with specific boundary conditions. The stationary probability measure of the position of the walker in the plane is shown to be concentrated around two symmetrically located points, one on each axis, corresponding to the fact that the system is typically in one of the two states of broken symmetry in the exclusion process. We compute the average time for the walker to traverse the quarter plane from one axis to the other, which corresponds to the average time separating two flips between states of broken symmetry in the exclusion process. This time is shown to diverge exponentially with the size of the chain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6039-6071
Number of pages33
JournalJournal of Physics A: Mathematical and General
Volume28
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 7 Nov 1995
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • PHASE-TRANSITIONS
  • DIFFUSION

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