Exact Extremal Statistics in the Classical 1D Coulomb Gas

Abhishek DharAnupam KunduSatya Majumdar 1 Sanjib SabhapanditGrégory Schehr 1

Phys.Rev.Lett., 2017, 119 (6), pp.060601. 〈10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.060601〉

We consider a one-dimensional classical Coulomb gas of N-like charges in a harmonic potential—also known as the one-dimensional one-component plasma. We compute, analytically, the probability distribution of the position xmax of the rightmost charge in the limit of large N. We show that the typical fluctuations of xmax around its mean are described by a nontrivial scaling function, with asymmetric tails. This distribution is different from the Tracy-Widom distribution of xmax for Dyson’s log gas. We also compute the large deviation functions of xmax explicitly and show that the system exhibits a third-order phase transition, as in the log gas. Our theoretical predictions are verified numerically.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques