Intermittence and roughening of periodic elastic media

Eira T. Seppälä, M.J. Alava, P.M. Duxbury

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We analyze intermittence and roughening of an elastic interface or domain wall pinned in a periodic potential, in the presence of random-bond disorder in 1+1 and 2+1 dimensions. Though the ensemble average behavior is smooth, the typical behavior of a large sample is intermittent, and does not self-average to a smooth behavior. Instead, large fluctuations occur in the mean location of the interface and the onset of interface roughening is via an extensive fluctuation which leads to a jump in the roughness of order λ, the period of the potential. Analytical arguments based on extreme statistics are given for the number of the minima of the periodicity visited by the interface and for the roughening crossover, which is confirmed by extensive exact ground state calculations.
Original languageEnglish
Article number036126
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalPhysical Review E
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • interface and surface thermodynamics
  • interface structure and roughness
  • optimization
  • random magnets


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