Some phase transitions exhibit a jump, while others exhibits hysteresis. I have read that jumps correspond to the Maxwell construction while hysteretic transitions correspond to the "delay convention" (Physical Review A, Vol. 23, No. 5, 2719-2723), which is a somewhat confusing statement. I am looking for a clear explanation of why a given phase transition exhibits (or does not exhibit) hysteresis; that is, in which situations can hysteresis be expected and in which can it not? Does it relate to the specific shape of the free energy landscape? To equilibrium or nonequilibrium behavior? Suggestions for further reading would be appreciated.

  • $\begingroup$ can you give a physical definition of a "jump" or "hysteresis" or give a link where these definitions are given? $\endgroup$ – Aleksey Druggist Sep 8 at 11:01
  • $\begingroup$ @AlekseyDruggist: By "jump," I mean a discontinuous change in a thermodynamic variable (e.g., density as a function of temperature). This would correspond to a classical first-order phase transition. By hysteresis, I mean the rate-independent type, in which there is an offset between the response of a system to a stimulus, resulting in forward and reverse curves that are offset, producing a hysteresis loop, most familiar from the study of ferromagnetic materials. $\endgroup$ – user001 Sep 10 at 18:00
  • $\begingroup$ Did I understand you correctly that a jump is the absence of a loop on the graph of the dependence of the order parameter on the control parameter when it is reversed above and below a point of fork bifurcation or of a first-order phase transition point? If this is the case, then this is an interesting question, for general reasons, there is always hysteresis under first kind phase transition, why it is weakly or strongly expressed, I am not ready to give a qualified answer, if I find a suitable link, I will write $\endgroup$ – Aleksey Druggist Sep 10 at 22:04
  • $\begingroup$ @AlekseyDruggist: Yes, the paper I referenced makes a distinction between jumps lacking loops and loops lacking jumps. Do you have any references pertaining to the idea that hysteresis is an invariant feature of first-order transitions, regardless of whether said transition occurs discretely (jump-wise) or not? I have seen casual statements, but nothing formal/definitive and nothing that explains why. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – user001 Sep 11 at 0:06

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