Condensation and Extreme Value Statistics

Martin R. Evans 1, Satya N. Majumdar 2

Journal of Statistical Mechanics (2008) 05004

We study the factorised steady state of a general class of mass transport models in which mass, a conserved quantity, is transferred stochastically between sites. Condensation in such models is exhibited when above a critical mass density the marginal distribution for the mass at a single site develops a bump, $p_{\rm cond}(m)$, at large mass $m$. This bump corresponds to a condensate site carrying a finite fraction of the mass in the system. Here, we study the condensation transition from a different aspect, that of extreme value statistics. We consider the cumulative distribution of the largest mass in the system and compute its asymptotic behaviour. We show 3 distinct behaviours: at subcritical densities the distribution is Gumbel; at the critical density the distribution is Fréchet, and above the critical density a different distribution emerges. We relate $p_{\rm cond}(m)$ to the probability density of the largest mass in the system.

  • 1. SUPA, School of Physics, University of Edinburgh,
  • 2. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud