A definition of metastability for Markov processes with detailed balance
Centro de Ciencias Físicas, UNAM; Apartado postal 48-3, CP, 62251 Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico
Corresponding author: a firstname.lastname@example.org
Revised: 17 November 2005
Published online: 12 April 2006
A definition of metastable states applicable to arbitrary finite state Markov processes satisfying detailed balance is discussed. In particular, we identify a crucial condition that distinguishes genuine metastable states from other types of slowly decaying modes and which leads to properties similar to those postulated in the restricted ensemble approach . The intuitive physical meaning of this condition is simply that the total equilibrium probability of finding the system in the metastable state is negligible. As a concrete application of our formalism we present preliminary results on a 2D kinetic Ising model.
PACS: 02.50.Ga – Markov processes / 05.20.Gg – Classical ensemble theory / 05.70.Ln – Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics
© EDP Sciences, Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag, 2006