Free-energy transition in a gas of noninteracting nonlinear wave particles

A. Fratalocchi*, C. Conti, G. Ruocco, S. Trillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We investigate the dynamics of a gas of noninteracting particlelike soliton waves, demonstrating that phase transitions originate from their collective behavior. This is predicted by solving exactly the nonlinear equations and by employing methods of the statistical mechanics of chaos. In particular, we show that a suitable free energy undergoes a metamorphosis as the input excitation is increased, thereby developing a first-order phase transition whose measurable manifestation is the formation of shock waves. This demonstrates that even the simplest phase-space dynamics, involving independent (uncoupled) degrees of freedom, can sustain critical phenomena.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 21 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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