An introductory review of the central ideas in the modern theory of dynamic critical phenomena is followed by a more detailed account of recent developments in the field. The concepts of the conventional theory, mode-coupling, scaling, universality, and the renormalization group are introduced and are illustrated in the context of a simple example—the phase separation of a symmetric binary fluid. The renormalization group is then developed in some detail, and applied to a variety of systems. The main dynamic universality classes are identified and characterized. It is found that the mode-coupling and renormalization group theories successfully explain available experimental data at the critical point of pure fluids, and binary mixtures, and at many magnetic phase transitions, but that a number of discrepancies exist with data at the superfluid transition of .
© 1977 American Physical Society