Abstract:
We study a model of two layers, each consisting of a d-dimensional elastic object driven over a random substrate, and mutually interacting through a viscous coupling. For this model, the mean-field theory (i.e. a fully connected model) predicts a transition from elastic depinning to hysteretic plastic depinning as disorder or viscous coupling is increased. A functional RG analysis shows that any small inter-layer viscous coupling destablizes the standard (decoupled) elastic depinning FRG fixed point for d <= 4, while for d > 4 most aspects of the mean-field theory are recovered. A one-loop study at non-zero velocity indicates, for d<4, coexistence of a moving state and a pinned state below the elastic depinning threshold, with hysteretic plastic depinning for periodic and non-periodic driven layers. A 2-loop analysis of quasi-statics unveils the possibility of more subtle effects, including a new universality class for non-periodic objects. We also study the model in d=0, i.e. two coupled particles, and show that hysteresis does not always exist as the periodic steady state with coupled layers can be dynamically unstable. It is also proved that stable pinned configurations remain dynamically stable in presence of a viscous coupling in any dimension d. Moreover, the layer model for periodic objects is stable to an infinitesimal commensurate density coupling. Our work shows that a careful study of attractors in phase space and their basin of attraction is necessary to obtain a firm conclusion for dimensions d=1,2,3.

Abstract:
We demonstrate for the first time an observation of the peak effect in simulations of magnetic vortices in a superconductor. The shear modulus $c_{66}$ of the vortex lattice is tuned by adding a fictitious {attractive} short range potential to the usual long-range repulsion between vortices. The peak effect is found to be most pronounced in low densities of pinning centers, and is always associated with a transition from elastic to plastic depinning. The simulations suggest in some situations that over a range of values of $c_{66}$ the production of lattice defects by a driving force enhances the pinning of the lattice.

Abstract:
Typically, the plastic yield stress of a sample is determined from a stress-strain curve by defining a yield strain and reading off the stress required to attain it. However, it is not a priori clear that yield strengths of microscale samples measured this way should display the correct finite size scaling. Here we study plastic yield as a depinning transition of a 1+1 dimensional interface, and consider how finite size effects depend on the choice of yield strain, as well as the presence of hardening and the strength of elastic coupling. Our results indicate that in sufficiently large systems, the choice of yield strain is unimportant, but in smaller systems one must take care to avoid spurious effects.

Abstract:
We develop a renormalized continuum field theory for a directed polymer interacting with a random medium and a single extended defect. The renormalization group is based on the operator algebra of the pinning potential; it has novel features due to the breakdown of hyperscaling in a random system. There is a second-order transition between a localized and a delocalized phase of the polymer; we obtain analytic results on its critical pinning strength and scaling exponents. Our results are directly related to spatially inhomogeneous Kardar-Parisi-Zhang surface growth.

Abstract:
Two classes of models of driven disordered systems that exhibit history-dependent dynamics are discussed. The first class incorporates local inertia in the dynamics via nonmonotonic stress transfer between adjacent degrees of freedom. The second class allows for proliferation of topological defects due to the interplay of strong disorder and drive. In mean field theory both models exhibit a tricritical point as a function of disorder strength. At weak disorder depinning is continuous and the sliding state is unique. At strong disorder depinning is discontinuous and hysteretic.

Abstract:
The viscous motion of an interface driven by an ac external field of frequency omega_0 in a random medium is considered here for the first time. The velocity exhibits a smeared depinning transition showing a double hysteresis which is absent in the adiabatic case omega_0 --> 0. Using scaling arguments and an approximate renormalization group calculation we explain the main characteristics of the hysteresis loop. In the low frequency limit these can be expressed in terms of the depinning threshold and the critical exponents of the adiabatic case.

Abstract:
We study the mean-field version of a model proposed by Leschhorn to describe the depinning transition of interfaces in random media. We show that evolution equations for the distribution of forces felt by the interface sites can be written down directly for an infinite system. For a flat distribution of random local forces the value of the depinning threshold can be obtained exactly. In the case of parallel dynamics (all unstable sites move simultaneously), due to the discrete character of the allowed interface heights, the motion of the center of mass is non-uniform in time in the moving phase close to the threshold and the mean interface velocity vanishes with a square-root singularity.

Abstract:
We study the properties of strain bursts (dislocation avalanches) occurring in two-dimensional discrete dislocation dynamics models under quasistatic stress-controlled loading. Contrary to previous suggestions, the avalanche statistics differs fundamentally from predictions obtained for the depinning of elastic manifolds in quenched random media. Instead, we find an exponent \tau =1 of the power-law distribution of slip or released energy, with a cut-off that increases exponentially with the applied stress and diverges with system size at all stresses. These observations demonstrate that the avalanche dynamics of 2D dislocation systems is scale-free at every applied stress and, therefore, can not be envisaged in terms of critical behavior associated with a depinning transition.

Abstract:
We study numerically the depinning transition of driven elastic interfaces in a random-periodic medium with localized periodic-correlation peaks in the direction of motion. The analysis of the moving interface geometry reveals the existence of several characteristic lengths separating different length-scale regimes of roughness. We determine the scaling behavior of these lengths as a function of the velocity, temperature, driving force, and transverse periodicity. A dynamical roughness diagram is thus obtained which contains, at small length scales, the critical and fast-flow regimes typical of the random-manifold (or domain wall) depinning, and at large length-scales, the critical and fast-flow regimes typical of the random-periodic (or charge-density wave) depinning. From the study of the equilibrium geometry we are also able to infer the roughness diagram in the creep regime, extending the depinning roughness diagram below threshold. Our results are relevant for understanding the geometry at depinning of arrays of elastically coupled thin manifolds in a disordered medium such as driven particle chains or vortex-line planar arrays. They also allow to properly control the effect of transverse periodic boundary conditions in large-scale simulations of driven disordered interfaces.

Abstract:
Using Langevin simulations, we have investigated numerically the depinning dynamics of driven two-dimensional colloids subject to the randomly distributed point-like pinning centres. With increasing strength of pinning, we find a crossover from elastic to plastic depinnings, accompanied by an order to disorder transition of state and a substantial increase in the depinning force. In the elastic regime, no peaks are found in the differential curves of the velocity－force dependence (VFD) and the transverse motion is almost none. In addition, the scaling relationship between velocity and force is found to be valid above depinning. However, when one enters the plastic regime, a peak appears in the differential curves of VFD and transverse diffusion occurs above depinning. Furthermore, history dependence is found in the plastic regime.