Resolving the two-dimensional axial next-nearest-neighbor Ising model using transfer matrices
Some features of the phase diagram of the two-dimensional axial next-nearest-neighbor Ising model have long been debated. The extended structural correlations and long relaxation times associated with its Kosterlitz-Thouless phase indeed result in analytical and numerical treatments making contradictory predictions. Here, we introduce a numerical transfer matrix approach that bypasses these problems and thus clears up various ambiguities. In particular, we confirm the transition temperatures and the order of the transition to the floating incommensurate phase. Our approach motivates considering transfer matrices for solving long-standing problems in related models.
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