electronic international standard serial number (EISSN)
Each oscillator in a linear chain (a string) interacts with a local Ising spin in contact with a thermal bath. These spins evolve according to Glauber dynamics. Below a critical temperature, there appears an equilibrium, time-independent, rippled state in the string that is accompanied by a nonzero spin polarization. On the other hand, the system is shown to form "metastable," nonequilibrium long-lived ripples in the string for slow spin relaxation. The system vibrates rapidly about these quasistationary states, which can be described as snapshots of a coarse-grained stroboscopic map. For moderate observation times, ripples are observed irrespective of the final thermodynamically stable state (rippled or not). Interestingly, the system can be considered as a "minimal" model to understand rippling in clamped graphene sheets.