Random maps and 2-dimensional random geometries

Gregory Miermont
École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

A map is a gluing of a finite number of polygons, forming a connected orientable topological surface. It can be interpreted as assigning this surface a discrete geometry, and the theoretical physics literature in the 80-90’s argued that random maps are an appropriate discrete model for the theory of 2-dimensional quantum gravity, which involves ill-defined integrals over all metrics on a given surface. The idea is to replace these integrals by finite sums, for instance over all triangulation of the sphere with a large number of faces, hoping that such triangulations approximate a limiting “continuum random surface”. In the recent years, much progress has been made in the mathematical understanding of the latter problem. In particular, it is now known that many natural models of random planar maps, for which the faces degrees remain small, admit a universal scaling limit, the Brownian map.We will also discuss a recent project on maps in higher genera. Other models, favouring large faces, also admit a one-parameter family of scaling limits, called stable maps. The latter are believed to describe the asymptotic geometry of random maps carrying statistical physics models, as has now been established in some important cases (including the so-called rigid O(n) model on quadrangulations).

Presentation (PDF File)

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