Standard Article

Theory of Magnetic Phase Transitions

Magnetism and Magnetic Measurement

  1. Michael E. McHenry,
  2. David E. Laughlin

Published Online: 18 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/0471266965.com043.pub2

Characterization of Materials

Characterization of Materials

How to Cite

McHenry, M. E. and Laughlin, D. E. 2012. Theory of Magnetic Phase Transitions. Characterization of Materials. 1–5.

Author Information

  1. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 18 MAY 2012


This article discusses magnetic order and a class of physical phenomena that can be described as magnetic phase transitions. We describe the thermodynamics of magnetic ordering transitions, the order of the transitions, critical exponents, and thermodynamic variables. We further describe magnetic phase transitions within the framework of the mean field Landau theory of phase transitions with discussion of several magnetic equations of state. We end with an application to magnetocaloric materials.


  • magnetic order;
  • magnetic phase transitions;
  • thermodynamics;
  • critical exponents;
  • Landau theory