Confirming and extending the hypothesis of universality in sandpiles

Bonachela, Juan A. and Muñoz, Miguel A. (2008) Confirming and extending the hypothesis of universality in sandpiles. Physical Review E, 78 (4). ISSN 1539-3755

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Abstract

Stochastic sandpiles self-organize to an absorbing-state critical point with scaling behavior different from directed percolation (DP) and characterized by the presence of an additional conservation law. This is usually called the C-DP or Manna universality class. There remains, however, an exception to this universality principle: a sandpile automaton introduced by Maslov and Zhang, which was claimed to be in the DP class despite the existence of a conservation law. We show, by means of careful numerical simulations as well as by constructing and analyzing a field theory, that (contrarily to what was previously thought) this sandpile is also in the C-DP or Manna class. This confirms the hypothesis of universality for stochastic sandpiles and gives rise to a fully coherent picture of self-organized criticality in systems with conservation. In passing, we obtain a number of results for the C-DP class and introduce a strategy to easily discriminate between DP and C-DP scaling.