This paper is a continuation of the theme of my research career, which could be loosely described: “try adding a magnetic field to an antiferromagnet and see if something interesting happens.” In this case, I added a magnetic field to the classical 2D Ising antiferromagnet and studied it with the simplest implementation of Monte Carlo: the Metropolis(-Rosenbluth-Teller) algorithm. At low temperatures I found that simulations never reached the ground state. Instead, they get trapped in local energy minima from which they never escape: frozen states with finite magnetization. There are so many of these frozen states available that you are effectively guaranteed to cross one before you can reach the correct ground state. These frozen states can be described by simple rules based on stable local configurations.
I just presented a talk“Quenching to field-stabilized magnetization plateaus in the unfrustrated Ising antiferromagnet” based on my preprint that I posted on arXiv last week at the Annual Meeting of the Physical Society of Taiwan at National Pingtung University in Pingtung, Taiwan. I haven’t gotten around to making a post about this paper yet (that is coming soon), but in the meantime I will post my slides from this talk here. My slides included some movies of the process of freezing in to magnetization plateaus. Since PDFs can’t include movies I will post the movies below.