Harmonic Pinnacles in the Discrete Gaussian Model

Eyal Lubetzky, Fabio Martinelli, Allan Sly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The 2D Discrete Gaussian model gives each height function (Formula presented.) a probability proportional to (Formula presented.), where (Formula presented.) is the inverse-temperature and (Formula presented.) sums over nearest-neighbor bonds. We consider the model at large fixed (Formula presented.), where it is flat unlike its continuous analog (the Discrete Gaussian Free Field). We first establish that the maximum height in an (Formula presented.) box with 0 boundary conditions concentrates on two integers M, M + 1 with (Formula presented.). The key is a large deviation estimate for the height at the origin in (Formula presented.), dominated by “harmonic pinnacles”, integer approximations of a harmonic variational problem. Second, in this model conditioned on (Formula presented.) (a floor), the average height rises, and in fact the height of almost all sites concentrates on levels H, H + 1 where (Formula presented.). 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 (Formula presented.). 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)1-45
Number of pages45
JournalCommunications in Mathematical Physics
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 17 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Mathematical Physics

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