The Self-Avoiding Walk

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Birkhäuser Boston, Aug 28, 1996 - Mathematics - 427 pages
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A self-avoiding walk is a path on a lattice that does not visit the same site more than once. In spite of this simple definition, many of the most basic questions about this model are difficult to resolve in a mathematically rigorous fashion. In particular, we do not know much about how far an n step self-avoiding walk typically travels from its starting point, or even how many such walks there are. These and other important questions about the self-avoiding walk remain unsolved in the rigorous mathematical sense, although the physics and chemistry communities have reached consensus on the answers by a variety of nonrigorous methods, including computer simulations. But there has been progress among mathematicians as well, much of it in the last decade, and the primary goal of this book is to give an account of the current state of the art as far as rigorous results are concerned. A second goal of this book is to discuss some of the applications of the self-avoiding walk in physics and chemistry, and to describe some of the nonrigorous methods used in those fields. The model originated in chem istry several decades ago as a model for long-chain polymer molecules. Since then it has become an important model in statistical physics, as it exhibits critical behaviour analogous to that occurring in the Ising model and related systems such as percolation.

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About the author (1996)

Gordon Slade is Professor at the University of British Columbia since 1999. Before he was Lecturer at the University of Virginia from 1985 to 1986 and    Professor at the McMaster University from 1986 to 1999. The Author has been awarded  the UBC Killam Research Prize (Senior Science Category) in 2004 and the Prix de l'Institut Henri Poincari--with Remco van der Hofstad--in2003. In 2003 he was Stieltjes Visiting Professor, in 1995 Coxeter-James Lecturer for the Canadian Mathematical Society. Since 2000 he is Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. 

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