The Berezinskii-Kosterlitz-Thouless (BKT) mechanism describes universal vortex unbinding in many two-dimensional systems, including the paradigmatic XY model. However, most of these systems present a complex interplay between excitations at different length scales that complicates theoretical calculations of nonuniversal thermodynamic quantities. These difficulties may be overcome by suitably modifying the initial conditions of the BKT flow equations to account for noncritical fluctuations at small length scales. In this work, we perform a systematic study of the validity and limits of this two-step approach by constructing optimised initial conditions for the BKT flow. We find that the two-step approach can accurately reproduce the results of Monte Carlo simulations of the traditional XY model. To systematically study the interplay between vortices and spin-wave excitations, we introduce a modified XY model with increased vortex fugacity. We present large-scale Monte Carlo simulations of the spin stiffness and vortex density for this modified XY model and show that even at large vortex fugacity, vortex unbinding is accurately described by the nonperturbative functional renormalization group.

I. Maccari, N. Defenu, L. Benfatto, C. Castellani, and T. Enss, “Interplay of spin waves and vortices in the two-dimensional xy model at small vortex-core energy”, Phys. Rev. B 102, 104505 (2020).


Related to Project C02, C03, C01