Asymptotics and scaling analysis of 2-dimensional lattice models of vesicles and polymers
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The subject of this thesis is the asymptotic behaviour of generating functions of different combinatorial models of two-dimensional lattice walks and polygons, enumerated with respect to different parameters, such as perimeter, number of steps and area. These models occur in various applications in physics, computer science and biology. In particular, they can be seen as simple models of biological vesicles or polymers. Of particular interest is the singular behaviour of the generating functions around special, so-called multicritical points in their parameter space, which correspond physically to phase transitions. The singular behaviour around the multicritical point is described by a scaling function, alongside a small set of critical exponents. Apart from some non-rigorous heuristics, our asymptotic analysis mainly consists in applying the method of steepest descents to a suitable integral expression for the exact solution for the generating function of a given model. The similar mathematical structure of the exact solutions of the different models allows for a unified treatment. In the saddle point analysis, the multicritical points correspond to points in the parameter space at which several saddle points of the integral kernels coalesce. Generically, two saddle points coalesce, in which case the scaling function is expressible in terms of the Airy function. As we will see, this is the case for Dyck and Schröder paths, directed column-convex polygons and partially directed self-avoiding walks. The result for Dyck paths also allows for the scaling analysis of Bernoulli meanders (also known as ballot paths). We then construct the model of deformed Dyck paths, where three saddle points coalesce in the corresponding integral kernel, thereby leading to an asymptotic expression in terms of a bivariate, generalised Airy integral.
AuthorsHaug, Nils Adrian
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