Rounding of first-order phase transitions in systems with quenched disorder

Michael Aizenman, Jan Wehr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

540 Scopus citations


It is shown, by a general argument, that in 2D quenched randomness results in the elimination of discontinuities in the density of the thermodynamic variable conjugate to the fluctuating parameter. Analogous results for continuous symmetry breaking extend to d4. In particular, for random-field models we rigorously prove uniqueness of the Gibbs state 2D Ising systems, and absence of continuous symmetry breaking in the Heisenberg model in d4, as predicted by Imry and Ma. Another manifestation of the general statement is found in 2D random-bond Potts models where a phase transition persists, but ceases to be first order.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2503-2506
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical review letters
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1989

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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