Indexed on: 11 Oct '05Published on: 11 Oct '05Published in: Physics - Statistical Mechanics
Showing that the location of the zeros of the partition function can be used to study phase transitions, Yang and Lee initiated an ambitious and very fruitful approach. We give an overview of the results obtained using this approach. After an elementary introduction to the Yang-Lee formalism, we summarize results concerning equilibrium phase transitions. We also describe recent attempts and breakthroughs in extending this theory to nonequilibrium phase transitions.