Spanning forests and the q-state Potts model in the limit q \\to 0

Jesper Lykke Jacobsen 1, Jesus Salas 2, Alan D. Sokal 3

Journal of Statistical Physics 119 (2005) 1153-1281

We study the q-state Potts model with nearest-neighbor coupling v=e^{\\beta J}-1 in the limit q,v \\to 0 with the ratio w = v/q held fixed. Combinatorially, this limit gives rise to the generating polynomial of spanning forests; physically, it provides information about the Potts-model phase diagram in the neighborhood of (q,v) = (0,0). We have studied this model on the square and triangular lattices, using a transfer-matrix approach at both real and complex values of w. For both lattices, we have computed the symbolic transfer matrices for cylindrical strips of widths 2 \\le L \\le 10, as well as the limiting curves of partition-function zeros in the complex w-plane. For real w, we find two distinct phases separated by a transition point w=w_0, where w_0 = -1/4 (resp. w_0 = -0.1753 \\pm 0.0002) for the square (resp. triangular) lattice. For w > w_0 we find a non-critical disordered phase, while for w < w_0 our results are compatible with a massless Berker-Kadanoff phase with conformal charge c = -2 and leading thermal scaling dimension x_{T,1} = 2 (marginal operator). At w = w_0 we find a \'first-order critical point\': the first derivative of the free energy is discontinuous at w_0, while the correlation length diverges as w \\downarrow w_0 (and is infinite at w = w_0). The critical behavior at w = w_0 seems to be the same for both lattices and it differs from that of the Berker-Kadanoff phase: our results suggest that the conformal charge is c = -1, the leading thermal scaling dimension is x_{T,1} = 0, and the critical exponents are \\nu = 1/d = 1/2 and \\alpha = 1.

  • 1. Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques (LPTMS),
    CNRS : UMR8626 – Université Paris XI - Paris Sud
  • 2. Depto. de Fisica,
    Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • 3. Dept. of Physics,
    New York University