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On the Douglas-Kazakov phase transition - Weighted potential theory under constraint for probabilists

Abstract : We give a rigorous proof of the fact that a phase transition discovered by Douglas and Kazakov in 1993 in the context of two-dimensional gauge theories occurs. This phase transition can be formulated in terms of the Brownian bridge on the unitary group in large dimension. We explain how it can be understood by considering the asymptotic behaviour of the eigenvalues of the unitary Brownian bridge, and how it can be technically approached by means of Fourier analysis on the unitary group. Moreover, we advertise some more or less classical methods for solving certain minimisation problems which play a fundamental role in the study of the phase transition and more generally in what can be called ’discrete Coulomb gases’.
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Thierry Lévy, Mylène Maïda. On the Douglas-Kazakov phase transition - Weighted potential theory under constraint for probabilists. ESAIM: Proceedings and Surveys, EDP Sciences, 2015, 51, pp.89-121. ⟨10.1051/proc/201551006⟩. ⟨hal-01266376⟩

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