We give a heuristic argument for disorder rounding of a first-order quantum phase transition into a continuous phase transition. From both weak and strong disorder analysis of the N-color quantum Ashkin-Teller model in one spatial dimension, we find that, for N/3, the first-order transition is rounded to a continuous transition and the physical picture is the same as the random transverse field Ising model for a limited parameter regime. The results are strikingly different from the corresponding classical problem in two dimensions where the fate of the renormalization group flows is a fixed point corresponding to N-decoupled pure Ising models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)