Square-lattice Ising model

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In statistical mechanics, the two-dimensional square-lattice Ising model is a simple model of interacting magnetic spins. The model is notable for having nontrivial interactions, yet having an analytical solution. The model was solved by (Lars Onsager 1944) for the special case that the external magnetic field H = 0. An analytical solution for the general case for  H \neq 0 has yet to be found.

Definition of the model[edit]

Consider the 2D Ising model on a square lattice \Lambda with N sites, with periodic boundary conditions in both the horizontal and vertical directions, which effectively reduces the geometry of the model to a torus. In a general case, the horizontal coupling J is not equal to the coupling in the vertical direction, J*. With an equal number of rows and columns in the lattice, there will be N of each. In terms of

 K = \beta J
 L = \beta J*

where  \beta = 1/(kT) where T is absolute temperature and k is Boltzmann's constant, the partition function  Z_N(K,L) is given by

 Z_N(K,L) = \sum_{\{\sigma\}} \exp \left( K \sum_{\langle ij \rangle_H} \sigma_i \sigma_j + L \sum_{\langle ij \rangle_V} \sigma_i \sigma_j \right).

Critical temperature[edit]

The critical temperature T_c can be obtained from the Kramers–Wannier duality relation. Denoting the free energy per site as F(K,L), one has:

\beta F\left(K^{*}, L^{*}\right) = \beta F\left(K,L\right) + \frac{1}{2}\log\left[\sinh\left(2K\right)\sinh\left(2L\right)\right]




Assuming there is only one critical line in the (K,L) plane, the duality relation implies that this is given by:

\sinh\left(2 K\right)\sinh\left(2 L\right)= 1

For the isotropic case J = J^{*}, one finds the famous relation for the critical temperature T_{c}

k_B T_c/J = \frac{2}{\ln(1+\sqrt{2})} \approx 2.26918531421.

Dual lattice[edit]

Consider a configuration of spins  \{ \sigma \} on the square lattice  \Lambda . Let r and s denote the number of unlike neighbours in the vertical and horizontal directions respectively. Then the summand in  Z_N corresponding to  \{ \sigma \} is given by

 e^{K(N-2s) +L(N-2r)}
Dual lattice

Construct a dual lattice  \Lambda_D as depicted in the diagram. For every configuration  \{ \sigma \} , a polygon is associated to the lattice by drawing a line on the edge of the dual lattice if the spins separated by the edge are unlike. Since by traversing a vertex of  \Lambda the spins need to change an even number of times so that one arrives at the starting point with the same charge, every vertex of the dual lattice is connected to an even number of lines in the configuration, defining a polygon.

Spin configuration on a dual lattice

This reduces the partition function to

 Z_N(K,L) = 2e^{N(K+L)} \sum_{P \subset \Lambda_D} e^{-2Lr-2Ks}

summing over all polygons in the dual lattice, where r and s are the number of horizontal and vertical lines in the polygon, with the factor of 2 arising from the inversion of spin configuration.

Low-temperature expansion[edit]

At low temperatures, K, L approach infinity, so that as  T \rightarrow 0, \ \ e^{-K}, e^{-L} \rightarrow 0 , so that

 Z_N(K,L) = 2 e^{N(K+L)} \sum_{ P \subset \Lambda_D} e^{-2Lr-2Ks}

defines a low temperature expansion of  Z_N(K,L) .

High-temperature expansion[edit]

Since  \sigma \sigma' = \pm 1 one has

 e^{K \sigma \sigma'} = \cosh K +  \sinh K(\sigma \sigma') = \cosh K(1+\tanh K(\sigma \sigma')).


 Z_N(K,L) = (\cosh K \cosh L)^N \sum_{\{ \sigma \}} \prod_{\langle ij \rangle_H} (1+v \sigma_i \sigma_j) \prod_{\langle ij \rangle_V}(1+w\sigma_i \sigma_j)

where  v =\tanh K and  w = \tanh L . Since there are N horizontal and vertical edges, there are a total of  2^{2N} terms in the expansion. Every term corresponds to a configuration of lines of the lattice, by associating a line connecting i and j if the term  v \sigma_i \sigma_j (or  w \sigma_i \sigma_j) is chosen in the product. Summing over the configurations, using

 \sum_{\sigma_i = \pm 1} \sigma_i^n = \begin{cases} 
	0 & \mbox{for } n \mbox{ odd} \\
	2 & \mbox{for } n \mbox{ even} \end{cases}

shows that only configurations with an even number of lines at each vertex (polygons) will contribute to the partition function, giving

 Z_N(K,L) = 2^N(\cosh K \cosh L)^N \sum_{P \subset \Lambda} v^r w^s

where the sum is over all polygons in the lattice. Since tanh K, tanh L  \rightarrow 0 as  T \rightarrow \infty , this gives the high temperature expansion of  Z_N(K,L).

The two expansions can be related using the Kramers-Wannier duality.

Exact solution[edit]

The free energy per site in the limit N\to\infty is given as follows. Define the parameter k as:

k =\frac{1}{\sinh\left(2 K\right)\sinh\left(2 L\right)}

The free energy per site F can be expressed as:

 -\beta F = \frac{\log(2)}{2} + \frac{1}{2\pi}\int_{0}^{\pi}\log\left[\cosh\left(2 K\right)\cosh\left(2 L\right)+\frac{1}{k}\sqrt{1+k^{2}-2k\cos(2\theta)}\right]d\theta

For the isotropic case J = J^{*}, from the above expression one finds for the internal energy per site:

 U = - J \coth(2 \beta J) \left[ 1 + \frac{2}{\pi} (2 \tanh^2(2 \beta J) -1) \int_0^{\pi/2} \frac{1}{\sqrt{1 - 4 k (1+k)^{-2} \sin^2(\theta)}} d\theta \right]

and the spontaneous magnetization is, for T < T_c:

 M = \left[ 1 - \sinh^{-4}(2 \beta J) \right]^{1/8}