The dynamics of a driven interface in a medium with random pinning forces is analyzed. The interface undergoes a depinning transition where the order parameter is the interface velocity v, which increases as v ∼(F Fc)θ for driving forces F close to its threshold value Fc. We consider a Langevin-type Eq. which is expected to be valid close to the depinning transition of an interface in a statistically isotropic medium. By a functional renormalization group scheme the critical exponents characterizing the depinning transition are obtained to the first order in ϵ = 4 — D > 0, where D is the interface dimension. The main results were published earlier [T. Nattermann et al., J. Phys. II France 2 (1992) 1483]. Here, we present details of the perturbative calculation and of the derivation of the functional flow Eq. for the random-force correlator. The fixed point function of the correlator has a cusp singularity which is related to a finite value of the threshold Fc, similar to the mean field theory. We also present extensive numerical simulations and compare them with our analytical results for the critical exponents. For ϵ = 1 the numerical and analytical results deviate from each other by only a few percent. The deviations in lower dimensions ϵ = 2, 3 are larger and suggest that the roughness exponent is somewhat larger than the value ξ = e/3 of an interface in thermal equilibrium.
- Nonequilibrium phase transitions