Multiple metastable states in an off-lattice Potts model

Constanza Farías, Sergio Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interactions between a group of components are commonly studied in several areas of science (social science, biology, material science, complex dynamical systems, among others) using the methods of thermodynamics and statistical mechanics. In this work we study the properties of the recently proposed off-lattice, two-dimensional Potts model (Davis et al., 2014), originally motivated by the dynamics of agent opinions, and which is described by a Hamiltonian obtained by a maximum entropy inference procedure. We performed microcanonical and canonical Monte Carlo simulations of the first-order phase transition in the model, revealing a caloric curve with metastable regions. Furthermore, we report a “switching” behavior between multiple metastable states. We also note that the thermodynamics of the model has striking similarities with systems having long-range interactions, even though the interactions are short-ranged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126215
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Maximum entropy inference
  • Metastability
  • Microcanonical
  • Potts model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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