The dimer model on a finite bipartite planar graph is a uniformly chosen set of edges which cover every vertex exactly once. It is a classical model of statistical mechanics, going back to work of Kasteleyn and Temperley/Fisher in the 1960s who computed its partition function. After giving an overview, I will discuss some recent joint work with Benoit Laslier and Gourab Ray, where we prove in a variety of situations that when the mesh size tends to 0 the fluctuations are described by a universal and conformally invariant limit known as the Gaussian free field. A key novelty in our approach is that the exact solvability of the model plays only a minor role. Instead, we rely on a connection to imaginary geometry, where Schramm-Loewner Evolution curves are viewed as flow lines of an underlying Gaussian free field.
Group for Research in Decision Analysis