Puzzle of bicriticality in the XXZ antiferromagnet

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Renormalization-group theory predicts that the XXZ antiferromagnet in a magnetic field along the easy Z axis has asymptotically either a tetracritical phase diagram or a triple point in the field-temperature plane. Neither experiments nor Monte Carlo simulations procure such phase diagrams. Instead, they find a bicritical phase diagram. Here, this discrepancy is resolved: After generalizing a ubiquitous condition identifying the tetracritical point, we employ different renormalization-group recursion relations near the isotropic fixed point, exploiting group-theoretical considerations and using accurate exponents at three dimensions. These show that the results from experiments and simulations can only be understood if their trajectories flow towards the fluctuation-driven first-order transition (and the associated triple point), but reach this limit only for prohibitively large system sizes or correlation lengths. In the crossover region one expects a bicritical phase diagram, as indeed is observed. A similar scenario may explain puzzling discrepancies between simulations and renormalization-group predictions for a variety of other phase diagrams with competing order parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number094424
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2022


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