Theory of monomer-dimer systems

Ole J. Heilmann, Elliott H. Lieb

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464 Scopus citations


We investigate the general monomer-dimer partition function, P(x), which is a polynomial in the monomer activity, x, with coefficients depending on the dimer activities. Our main result is that P(x) has its zeros on the imaginary axis when the dimer activities are nonnegative. Therefore, no monomer-dimer system can have a phase transition as a function of monomer density except, possibly, when the monomer density is minimal (i.e. x=0). Elaborating on this theme we prove the existence and analyticity of correlation functions (away from x=0) in the thermodynamic limit. Among other things we obtain bounds on the compressibility and derive a new variable in which to make an expansion of the free energy that converges down to the minimal monomer density. We also relate the monomer-dimer problem to the Heisenberg and Ising models of a magnet and derive Christoffell-Darboux formulas for the monomer-dimer and Ising model partition functions. This casts the Ising model in a new light and provides an alternative proof of the Lee-Yang circle theorem. We also derive joint complex analyticity domains in the monomer and dimer activities. Our considerations are independent of geometry and hence are valid for any dimensionality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-232
Number of pages43
JournalCommunications In Mathematical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1972

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics


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