1,732 reputation
616
bio website unige.ch/math/folks/velenik
location Geneva, Switzerland
age 45
visits member for 3 years
seen 24 mins ago

Professor at the Mathematics department of the University of Geneva. Mostly working at the intersection of probability theory and statistical physics.

With a colleague, we are in the process of writing an introductory book on the (classical) equilibrium statistical physics of lattice spin systems, from a mathematically rigorous point of view. A more detailed description of the project, as well as early drafts of several chapters can be found here. Your feedback would be more than welcome!


Jun
4
comment Why is the application of probability in QM fundamentally different from application of probability in other areas?
@CountIblis: You're missing my point. There is no need to have any randomness to apply probability theory. So there is absolutely no need of quantum mechanics to derive or justify classical probability theory. To say that it requires quantum mechanics because the universe is fundamentally quantum, would be the same as saying that, say, literature is reducible to quantum mechanics because the brains of writers are quantum objects... Maybe true, but utterly useless.
Jun
4
comment Why is the application of probability in QM fundamentally different from application of probability in other areas?
@CountIblis: Even if in a fully deterministic universe, probability theory would be indispensable. Including in its application to physics. You (and the authors of this paper) have an extremely narrow view on this field.
Jun
3
comment Why is the application of probability in QM fundamentally different from application of probability in other areas?
Real randomness (inasmuch as such a thing exist) might indeed have quantum origin, but one does not need anything truly random to be able to apply probability theory successfully, just situations of sufficient complexity that renouncing a precise description is the only way to proceed.
Jun
3
comment Why is the application of probability in QM fundamentally different from application of probability in other areas?
Absolutely not. Probability theory has a much broader scope than the "physical" probability theory you seem to have in mind. Probability theory can really be seen as an extension of logic, and as such applies to all situations in which only partial information is available, or in which the probability represents subjective assessments of likelihood. You should have a look, for example, at Jaynes' book "Probability Theory: The Logic of Science".
May
26
comment Fluctuations in energy for macro and micro canonical ensembles
Consider a super simple example: you have $N$ objects each of which may be either in its "ground state" of energy $0$ or in an "excited state" of energy $\epsilon$. There is no interaction between these objects. The partition function is $\sum_{k=0}^N\binom{N}{k}e^{-\beta\epsilon k}=(1+e^{-\beta\epsilon})^N$, and thus the probability that the energy is equal to $E=M\epsilon$ is $\binom{N}{M}e^{-\beta\epsilon M}/(1+e^{-\beta\epsilon})^N$, which you can check develops a sharp peak (of width of order $\sqrt{N}$) around its expected value $N\epsilon/(1+e^{\beta\epsilon})$.
May
25
comment Fluctuations in energy for macro and micro canonical ensembles
The Boltzmann distribution is not an exponential distribution: the Boltzmann weight has certainly an exponential form, but you're forgetting the entropy (that is, how many microstates of a given energy there are). The distribution of the energy density in the canonical ensemble concentrates sharply on its average (with fluctuations of the order of $1/\sqrt{N}$). This is why you get equivalent results for both microcanonical (fixed energy) and canonical (fluctuating energy) ensembles (well, at least in the absence pf phase transition).
May
23
answered Minimum connectivity required for mean field to be a good approximation?
May
23
comment Minimum connectivity required for mean field to be a good approximation?
If you're interested in critical exponents, then you can, in principle, extract (probably bad) bounds from this paper: arXiv:0712.0312.
May
23
comment Minimum connectivity required for mean field to be a good approximation?
Well, a good approximation in what sense? If you want, say, close free energy and magnetization, or the ability to say that the system has a first order phase transition if its mean-field approximation has, then you might be able to extract estimates (although rather pessimistic, I suspect) from this paper: arXiv:math/0207242. There are also two subsequent papers, if I remember correctly.
Apr
28
revised What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?
Trivial typo corrected
Apr
27
revised What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?
trivial typos corrected
Apr
27
revised Fluctuations of an interface with hammock potential
deleted 4 characters in body
Apr
27
revised Fluctuations of an interface with hammock potential
added 365 characters in body
Apr
27
answered What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?
Apr
26
comment What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?
Yes, I agree, it will affect the finite-volume free energy density by a term of order $1/N$ (that is, the energy associated to the defect lines, of order $N$, divided by the total volume, of order $N^2$).
Apr
26
awarded  Yearling
Apr
26
comment What happens to the free energy of the two-dimensional ising model with vortices?
I am not sure what you call vortices in the context of the Ising model (you can have them in continuous spin systems of course). What you can do (and maybe what you mean) is to force the presence of interfaces in the system. Forcing the presence of finitely many will not affect the (limiting) free energy density.
Apr
25
comment Ising model. What is large fluctuations of magnetization?
@Elias: if you have specific questions about our book, please do not hesitate to ask us directly (the relevant email address is given on the book page). For us, it is important to know what are the parts that should be clarified.
Mar
28
comment Symmetry Breaking And Phase transition
@Adam: But, stricto sensu, at the critical point, there is no transition from gas to liquid phases (the two are undistinguishable at that point). So, I keep with what I said: there is no symmetry breaking at the liquid/gas phase transition.
Mar
28
comment Symmetry Breaking And Phase transition
@Adam: But the question was "Is every phase transition associated with a symmetry breaking? If yes, what is the symmetry that a gaseous phase have but the liquid phase does not?", and the answer is negative.