UBC Mathematics Department

Colloquium Abstract: Dr. Gordon Slade, McMaster Univ.

Polymers, Percolation, and Critical Exponents

Abstract: Linear polymer molecules are modelled by self-avoiding walks and branched polymers are modelled by lattice trees and lattice animals. It is widely believed that the number and typical size of self-avoiding walks and of lattice trees and animals are governed by dimension-dependent universal critical exponents. Similar critical exponents arise in percolation theory, an elementary model of a phase transition of interest in probability theory and statistical mechanics. This lecture, intended for a general mathematical audience, describes joint work with Takashi Hara proving existence of critical exponents for these models in high dimensions, using a method known as the lace expansion.

*Coffee, tea and cookies will be served in Math Lounge (Annex) Room 1115

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