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Dynamical criticality in open systems: nonperturbative physics, microscopic origin, and direct observation

P�rez-Espigares, Carlos; Carollo, Federico; Garrahan, Juan P.; Hurtado, Pablo I.


Carlos P�rez-Espigares

Federico Carollo

Pablo I. Hurtado


Driven diffusive systems may undergo phase transitions to sustain atypical values of the current. This leads in some cases to symmetry-broken space-time trajectories which enhance the probability of such fluctuations. Here, we shed light on both the macroscopic large deviation properties and the microscopic origin of such spontaneous symmetry breaking in the open weakly asymmetric exclusion process. By studying the joint fluctuations of the current and a collective order parameter, we uncover the full dynamical phase diagram for arbitrary boundary driving, which is reminiscent of a Z2 symmetry-breaking transition. The associated joint large deviation function becomes nonconvex below the critical point, where a Maxwell-like violation of the additivity principle is observed. At the microscopic level, the dynamical phase transition is linked to an emerging degeneracy of the ground state of the microscopic generator, from which the optimal trajectories in the symmetry-broken phase follow. In addition, we observe this symmetry-breaking phenomenon in extensive rare-event simulations, confirming our macroscopic and microscopic results.


Pérez-Espigares, C., Carollo, F., Garrahan, J. P., & Hurtado, P. I. (2018). Dynamical criticality in open systems: nonperturbative physics, microscopic origin, and direct observation. Physical Review E, 98(6), Article 060102(R).

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2018
Online Publication Date Dec 10, 2018
Publication Date Dec 10, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 3, 2019
Publicly Available Date Jan 3, 2019
Journal Physical Review E
Print ISSN 2470-0045
Electronic ISSN 2470-0053
Publisher American Physical Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 98
Issue 6
Article Number 060102(R)
Public URL
Publisher URL


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