Extreme boundary conditions and random tilings

Jean-Marie Stéphan

SciPost Phys. Lect. Notes 26 (2021) · published 12 March 2021

Abstract

Standard statistical mechanical or condensed matter arguments tell us that bulk properties of a physical system do not depend too much on boundary conditions. Random tilings of large regions provide counterexamples to such intuition, as illustrated by the famous 'arctic circle theorem' for dimer coverings in two dimensions. In these notes, I discuss such examples in the context of critical phenomena, and their relation to 1+1d quantum particle models. All those turn out to share a common feature: they are inhomogeneous, in the sense that local densities now depend on position in the bulk. I explain how such problems may be understood using variational (or hydrodynamic) arguments, how to treat long range correlations, and how non trivial edge behavior can occur. While all this is done on the example of the dimer model, the results presented here have much greater generality. In that sense the dimer model serves as an opportunity to discuss broader methods and results. [These notes require only a basic knowledge of statistical mechanics.]


Author / Affiliation: mappings to Contributors and Organizations

See all Organizations.
Funder for the research work leading to this publication