Wednesday 4 Jul 12 - 11:30am
Landau theory of discontinuous phase transitions
The Landau (mean-field) theory of continuous (second order) phase transitions is taught in most good courses and textbooks at the advanced undergraduate/introductory graduate level. However the Landau theory of discontinuous transitions is not usually touched upon. In this talk I will try to clarify the surprisingly rich range of behaviour that can occur for discontinuous transitions at the mean-field level.