Entropy production as tool for characterizing nonequilibrium phase transitions.
Nonequilibrium phase transitions can be typified in a similar way to equilibrium systems, for instance, by the use of the order parameter. However, this characterization hides the irreversible character of the dynamics as well as its influence on the phase transition properties. Entropy production has revealed to be an important concept for filling this gap since it vanishes identically for equilibrium systems and is positive for the nonequilibrium case. Based on general arguments, we present distinct scenarios for the characterization of phase transitions in terms of entropy production. A full analysis is reported for discontinuous and continuous phase transitions; regular and complex topologies within the framework of mean field theory (MFT) and beyond the MFT. Our predictions will be exemplified by an icon system, perhaps the simplest nonequilibrium model presenting an order-disorder phase transition and spontaneous symmetry breaking: the majority vote model. Its dynamics is ruled by the misalignment and inertia parameters whose phase transition is continuous or discontinuous depending on symmetry, connectivity and inertia. Our work paves the way to a systematic description and classification of nonequilibrium phase transitions through a key indicator of system irreversibility.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1811.06310