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What is meant by being driven by quantum fluctuations in QPTs

  1. Jun 16, 2013 #1
    What is meant by "being driven by quantum fluctuations" in QPTs

    Hello all,

    I'm reading a bit about quantum phase transitions, and in almost every description out there one will find the following mysterious phrase:

    "quantum phase transitions are driven by quantum fluctuations rather than thermal fluctuations"

    What does that mean? Especially the 'driven by' ..? I have not found an alternate description of what is being said here (either that, or I don't recognize it).

    Any help or explanations would be welcome!

    - Rick
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 16, 2013 #2


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    Science Advisor

    Doesn't it just mean the properties of the critical point are determined by those fluctuations? (Critical exponents, etc)
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