Bulk free energy, thermodynamic limit and absence of phase transitions

Let us therefore consider a one-dimensional Ising model with spins and free boundary conditions, i.e. the first and the last spin can assume any value. Using the nearest neighbour interaction Hamiltonian we have:

and defining and for the sake of simplicity, the partition function of the system will be:
If we now set , namely if the system is not subjected to any external field, then:
In order to compute we use the so called recursion method: from the expression of we can deduce the expression of the partition function of the same system with one additional spin added to the lattice:
However, the sum over gives:
where we have used the evenness of the hyperbolic cosine, namely the fact that . Therefore we have:
and iterating the relation times we get:
Since[1]:
we get the final result:

Now, following all the prescriptions we know, we get to:

and in the thermodynamic limit:
Let us note that does indeed respect the properties we have seen in Analytic properties of the Ising model. Furthermore, since the logarithm and the hyperbolic cosine are analytic functions we see that is itself an analytic function of : it is therefore impossible that the system will exhibit any kind of phase transition (at least for [2]) even in the thermodynamic limit.

  1. This can be justified as follows: is the partition function of a single-spin Ising model and we are considering two-spin interactions, so this single spin will not interact with anything. Therefore the Hamiltonian of the system in this case is null, and so .
  2. In this case, in fact, there can be problems. From this fact we can state that the only "phase transition" that can happen in a one-dimensional Ising model occurs at (which is of course an unphysical case), where all the spins are aligned.
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