Infinite order phase transition in the slow bond TASEP

Sourav Sarkar, Allan Sly, Lingfu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In the slow bond problem the rate of a single edge in the Totally Asymmetric Simple Exclusion Process (TASEP) is reduced from 1 to (Formula presented.) for some small (Formula presented.). Janowsky and Lebowitz posed the well-known question of whether such very small perturbations could affect the macroscopic current. Different groups of physicists, using a range of heuristics and numerical simulations reached opposing conclusions on whether the critical value of (Formula presented.) is 0. This was ultimately resolved rigorously in Basu-Sidoravicius-Sly which established that (Formula presented.). Here we study the effect of the current as (Formula presented.) tends to 0 and in doing so explain why it was so challenging to predict on the basis of numerical simulations. In particular we show that the current has an infinite order phase transition at 0, with the effect of the perturbation tending to 0 faster than any polynomial. Our proof focuses on the Last Passage Percolation formulation of TASEP where a slow bond corresponds to reinforcing the diagonal. We give a multiscale analysis to show that when (Formula presented.) is small the effect of reinforcement remains small compared to the difference between optimal and near optimal geodesics. Since geodesics can be perturbed on many different scales, we inductively bound the tails of the effect of reinforcement by controlling the number of near optimal geodesics and giving new tail estimates for the local time of (near) geodesics along the diagonal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3107-3140
Number of pages34
JournalCommunications on Pure and Applied Mathematics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Mathematics
  • Applied Mathematics


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