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Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2009 Apr;79(4 Pt 1):041127. Epub 2009 Apr 20.

Monte Carlo study of degenerate ground states and residual entropy in a frustrated honeycomb lattice Ising model.

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  • 1Department of Applied Mathematics, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada N2L 3G1.


We study a classical fully frustrated honeycomb lattice Ising model using Markov-chain Monte Carlo methods and exact calculations. The Hamiltonian realizes a degenerate ground-state manifold of equal-energy states, where each hexagonal plaquette of the lattice has one and only one unsatisfied bond, with an extensive residual entropy that grows as the number of spins N. Traditional single-spin-flip Monte Carlo methods fail to sample all possible spin configurations in this ground state efficiently, due to their separation by large energy barriers. We develop a nonlocal "chain-flip" algorithm that solves this problem, and demonstrate its effectiveness on the Ising Hamiltonian with and without perturbative interactions. The two perturbations considered are a slightly weakened bond and an external magnetic field h. For some cases, the chain-flip move is necessary for the simulation to find an ordered ground state. In the case of the magnetic field, two magnetized ground states with nonextensive entropy are found, and two special values of h exist where the residual entropy again becomes extensive, scaling proportionally to N ln phi, where phi is the golden ratio.

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