Argonne National Laboratory

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  • Two Argonne physicists offered a way to mathematically describe a particular physics phenomenon called a phase transition in a system out of equilibrium (that is, with energy moving through it) by using imaginary numbers. The illustration relates the phase transition to the change between mathematical Mobius transformations (a, b, and c). The theory of out-of-equilibrium physics is a long-sought goal in the field, and could eventually help us design better electronics. (Image courtesy of Vinokur/Galda/Argonne National Laboratory.)

    Study offers new theoretical approach to describing non-equilibrium phase transitions

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    Two physicists at Argonne offered a way to mathematically describe a particular physics phenomenon called a phase transition in a system out of equilibrium. Such phenomena are central in physics, and understanding how they occur has been a long-held and vexing goal; their behavior and related effects are key to unlocking possibilities for new electronics and other next-generation technologies.