Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Conformal Field Theory Methods for Variants of Schramm-Loewner Evolutions

Kalle Kytölä

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

This thesis consists of an introduction, four research articles and an appendix. The thesis studies relations between two different approaches to continuum limit of models of two dimensional statistical mechanics at criticality. The approach of conformal field theory (CFT) could be thought of as the algebraic classification of some basic objects in these models. It has been succesfully used by physicists since 1980's. The other approach, Schramm-Loewner evolutions (SLEs), is a recently introduced set of mathematical methods to study random curves or interfaces occurring in the continuum limit of the models.

The first and second included articles argue on basis of statistical mechanics what would be a plausible relation between SLEs and conformal field theory.

The first article studies multiple SLEs, several random curves simultaneously in a domain. The proposed definition is compatible with a natural commutation requirement suggested by Dubédat. The curves of multiple SLE may form different topological configurations, ``pure geometries''. We conjecture a relation between the topological configurations and CFT concepts of conformal blocks and operator product expansions. Example applications of multiple SLEs include crossing probabilities for percolation and Ising model.

The second article studies SLE variants that represent models with boundary conditions implemented by primary fields. The most well known of these, SLE(kappa, rho), is shown to be simple in terms of the Coulomb gas formalism of CFT.

In the third article the space of local martingales for variants of SLE is shown to carry a representation of Virasoro algebra. Finding this structure is guided by the relation of SLEs and CFTs in general, but the result is established in a straightforward fashion. This article, too, emphasizes multiple SLEs and proposes a possible way of treating pure geometries in terms of Coulomb gas.

The fourth article states results of applications of the Virasoro structure to the open questions of SLE reversibility and duality. Proofs of the stated results are provided in the appendix. The objective is an indirect computation of certain polynomial expected values. Provided that these expected values exist, in generic cases they are shown to possess the desired properties, thus giving support for both reversibility and duality.

The title page of the publication

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Last updated 02.10.2006

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