We have studied the phase transition of the contact process near a multiple junction of M semi-infinite chains by Monte Carlo simulations. As opposed to the continuous transitions of the translationally invariant (M=2) and semi-infinite (M=1) system, the local order parameter is found to be discontinuous for M>2. Furthermore, the temporal correlation length diverges algebraically as the critical point is approached, but with different exponents on the two sides of the transition. In the active phase, the estimate is compatible with the bulk value, while in the inactive phase it exceeds the bulk value and increases with M. The unusual local critical behavior is explained by a scaling theory with an irrelevant variable, which becomes dangerous in the inactive phase. Quenched spatial disorder is found to make the transition continuous in agreement with earlier renormalization group results.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
- Statistics and Probability
- Condensed Matter Physics