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Correlation Functions in Two-Dimensional Critical Systems with Conformal Symmetry.

Flores, Steven Miguel

Flores, Steven Miguel

2012

Abstract: This thesis presents a study of certain conformal field theory (CFT) correlation functions that describe physical observables in conformally invariant two-dimensional critical systems. These are typically continuum limits of critical lattice models in a domain within the complex plane and with a boundary. Certain clusters, called boundary clusters, anchor to the boundary of the domain, and many of their features are governed by a conformally invariant probability measure. For example, percolation is an example of a critical lattice model, and when it is confined to a domain with a boundary, connected clusters of activated bonds that touch that boundary are the boundary clusters. This thesis is concerned with how the boundary clusters interact with each other according to that measure. One question that it considers are ``how likely are these clusters to repel each other or to connect with one another in a certain topological configuration?" Chapter one non-rigorously derives an already well-known elliptic system of differential equations closely tied to this matter by using standard techniques of CFT, chapters two and three rigorously infer certain properties concerning the solution space of this system, and chapter four uses some of those results to predict an answer to this question. This thesis also considers local variations of this question such as ``what regions of the domain do the perimeters of the boundary clusters explore," and ``how often will several boundary clusters connect at just a single, specified point in the domain?" Chapter five predicts precise answers to these questions. All of these answers are quantitative predictions that we verify via high-precision computer simulation. Chapters four and five also present these simulation results. Further material that supplements chapter one is included in two appendices.