The Annals of Applied Probability

Large deviations for cluster size distributions in a continuous classical many-body system

Sabine Jansen, Wolfgang König, and Bernd Metzger

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An interesting problem in statistical physics is the condensation of classical particles in droplets or clusters when the pair-interaction is given by a stable Lennard–Jones-type potential. We study two aspects of this problem. We start by deriving a large deviations principle for the cluster size distribution for any inverse temperature $\beta\in(0,\infty)$ and particle density $\rho\in(0,\rho_{\mathrm{cp}})$ in the thermodynamic limit. Here $\rho_{\mathrm{cp}}>0$ is the close packing density. While in general the rate function is an abstract object, our second main result is the $\Gamma$-convergence of the rate function toward an explicit limiting rate function in the low-temperature dilute limit $\beta\to\infty$, $\rho\downarrow0$ such that $-\beta^{-1}\log\rho\to\nu$ for some $\nu\in(0,\infty)$. The limiting rate function and its minimisers appeared in recent work, where the temperature and the particle density were coupled with the particle number. In the decoupled limit considered here, we prove that just one cluster size is dominant, depending on the parameter $\nu$. Under additional assumptions on the potential, the $\Gamma$-convergence along curves can be strengthened to uniform bounds, valid in a low-temperature, low-density rectangle.

Article information

Ann. Appl. Probab., Volume 25, Number 2 (2015), 930-973.

First available in Project Euclid: 19 February 2015

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Zentralblatt MATH identifier

Primary: 82B21: Continuum models (systems of particles, etc.)
Secondary: 60F10: Large deviations 60K35: Interacting random processes; statistical mechanics type models; percolation theory [See also 82B43, 82C43] 82B31: Stochastic methods 82B05: Classical equilibrium statistical mechanics (general)

Classical particle system canonical ensemble equilibrium statistical mechanics dilute system large deviations


Jansen, Sabine; König, Wolfgang; Metzger, Bernd. Large deviations for cluster size distributions in a continuous classical many-body system. Ann. Appl. Probab. 25 (2015), no. 2, 930--973. doi:10.1214/14-AAP1014.

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