Harmonic Pinnacles in the Discrete Gaussian Model

Eyal Lubetzky, Fabio Martinelli, Allan Sly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The 2D Discrete Gaussian model gives each height function η:Z2→Z a probability proportional to exp (- βH(η)) , where β is the inverse-temperature and H(η)=∑x∼y(ηx-ηy)2 sums over nearest-neighbor bonds. We consider the model at large fixed β, where it is flat unlike its continuous analog (the Discrete Gaussian Free Field). We first establish that the maximum height in an L× L box with 0 boundary conditions concentrates on two integers M, M + 1 with M∼(1/2πβ)logLloglogL. The key is a large deviation estimate for the height at the origin in Z2, dominated by “harmonic pinnacles”, integer approximations of a harmonic variational problem. Second, in this model conditioned on η≥ 0 (a floor), the average height rises, and in fact the height of almost all sites concentrates on levels H, H + 1 where H∼M/2. This in particular pins down the asymptotics, and corrects the order, in results of Bricmont et al. (J. Stat. Phys. 42(5–6):743–798, 1986), where it was argued that the maximum and the height of the surface above a floor are both of order logL. Finally, our methods extend to other classical surface models (e.g., restricted SOS), featuring connections to p-harmonic analysis and alternating sign matrices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)673-717
Number of pages45
JournalCommunications In Mathematical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


Dive into the research topics of 'Harmonic Pinnacles in the Discrete Gaussian Model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this