The physics of critical phenomena is the physics of systems close to a critical point, like the critical temperature in a ferromagnetic transition or the critical point of a gas-liquid transition. Examples of critical phenomena include dynamical slowing down, divergence of correlation length and ergodicity breaking.
The term critical phenomena refers to the behavior of physical systems close to a critical point. Well-known examples are the critical temperature of a ferromagnetic transition and the critical $(P,T)$ point of a liquid-gas transition.
The term critical phenomena is thus usually associated to continuous (second-order) phase transitions. Examples of critical phenomena occurring during second-order phase transitions are:
- Dynamical slowing down
- Divergence of the correlation length
- Emergence of scaling laws
- Power-law divergence of physical quantities (like the magnetic susceptibility $\chi$ in a ferromagnetic phase transition)
- Ergodicity breaking
- Emergence of fractal structures