Self-avoiding walks in a half-plane

29 January 2013
Mireille Bousquet-Melou
<p>A self-avoiding walk on a lattice is a walk that never visits the same vertex twice.&nbsp; Self-avoiding walks (SAW) have attracted interest for decades, first in statistical physics, where they are considered as polymer models, and then in combinatorics and in probability theory (the first mathematical contributions are probably due to John Hammersley, from Oxford, in the early sixties). However, their properties remain poorly understood in low dimension, despite the existence of remarkable conjectures. <br /><br />About two years ago, Duminil-Copin and Smirnov proved an "old" and remarkable conjecture of Nienhuis (1982), according to which the number of SAWs of length n on the honeycomb (hexagonal) lattice grows like mu^n, with mu=sqrt(2 +sqrt(2)). <br /><br />This beautiful result has woken up the hope to prove other simple looking conjectures involving these objects. I will thus present the proof of a younger conjecture (1995) by Batchelor and Yung, which deals with SAWs confined to a half-plane and interacting with its boundary.<br /><br />(joint work with N. Beaton, J. de Gier, H. Duminil-Copin and A. Guttmann)<br /><br /></p>
  • Combinatorial Theory Seminar