Limit shapes and the complex burgers equation
Abstract
In this paper we study surfaces in R^3 that arise as limit shapes in a class of random surface models arising from dimer models. The limit shapes are minimizers of a surface tension functional, that is, they minimize, for fixed boundary conditions, the integral of a quantity (the surface tension) depending only on the slope of the surface. The surface tension as a function of the slope has singularities and is not strictly convex, which leads to formation of facets and edges in the limit shapes. We find a change of variables that reduces the EulerLagrange equation for the variational problem to the complex inviscid Burgers equation (complex Hopf equation). The equation can thus be solved in terms of an arbitrary holomorphic function, which is somewhat similar in spirit to Weierstrass parametrization of minimal surfaces. We further show that for a natural dense set of boundary conditions, the holomorphic function in question is, in fact, algebraic. The tools of algebraic geometry can thus be brought in to study the the minimizers and, especially, the formation of their singularities. This is illustrated by several explicitly computed examples.
 Publication:

arXiv eprints
 Pub Date:
 July 2005
 arXiv:
 arXiv:mathph/0507007
 Bibcode:
 2005math.ph...7007K
 Keywords:

 Mathematical Physics;
 Mathematics  Mathematical Physics;
 Mathematics  Probability
 EPrint:
 minor changes