Title: Origin of scale-free intermittency in structural first-order phase transitions
Author(s): Perez-Reche F.J., Triguero C., Zanzotto G., Truskinovsky L.
Physical Review B, 94, No. 14, pp. 144102- (1 October 2016)
A salient feature of cyclically driven first-order phase transformations in crystals is their scale-free avalanche dynamics. This behavior has been linked to the presence of a classical critical point but the mechanism leading to criticality without extrinsic tuning remains unexplained. Here we show that the source of scaling in such systems is an annealed disorder associated with transformation-induced slip which coevolves with the phase transformation, thus ensuring the crossing of a critical manifold. Our conclusions are based on a model where annealed disorder emerges in the form of a random field induced by the phase transition. Such a disorder exhibits supertransient chaotic behavior under thermal loading, obeys a heavy-tailed distribution, and exhibits long-range spatial correlations. We show that the universality class is affected by the long-range character of elastic interactions. In contrast, it is not influenced by the heavy-tailed distribution and spatial correlations of disorder.