A microscopic mechanism for rejuvenation and memory effects in spin glasses
Department of Applied Physics, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan
2 Service de Physique de l'État Condensé, CEA Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France
Revised: 27 April 2001
Published online: 15 July 2001
Aging in spin glasses (and in some other systems) reveals astonishing effects of `rejuvenation and memory' upon temperature changes. In this paper, we propose microscopic mechanisms (at the scale of spin-spin interactions) which can be at the origin of such phenomena. Firstly, we recall that, in a frustrated system, the effective average interaction between two spins may take different values (possibly with opposite signs) at different temperatures. We give simple examples of such situations, which we compute exactly. Such mechanisms can explain why new ordering processes (rejuvenation) seem to take place in spin glasses when the temperature is lowered. Secondly, we emphasize the fact that inhomogeneous interactions do naturally lead to a wide distribution of relaxation times for thermally activated flips. `Memory spots' spontaneously appear, in the sense that the flipping time of some spin clusters becomes extremely long when the temperature is decreased. Such memory spots are capable of keeping the memory of previous ordering at a higher temperature while new ordering processes occur at a lower temperature. After a qualitative discussion of these mechanisms, we show in the numerical simulation of a simplified example that this may indeed work. Our conclusion is that certain chaos-like phenomena may show up spontaneously in any frustrated and inhomogeneous magnetic system, without impeding the occurrence of memory effects.
PACS: 75.50.Lk – Spin glasses and other random magnets / 75.10.Nr – Spin-glass and other random models
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2001