# Introduction to percolation theory (or, why statistical physicists make life difficult for themselves)

#### Introduction to percolation theory (or, why statistical physicists make life difficult for themselves)

- Event time: All day
- Event date: 12th October 2016
- Speaker: Professor Richard Blythe (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
- Location: Room 2511, James Clerk Maxwell Building (JCMB) James Clerk Maxwell Building Peter Guthrie Tait Road Edinburgh EH9 3FD GB

### Event details

Consider a lump of Swiss cheese. Can you navigate from one side of the

cheese to the other through the holes? This is the fundamental question

that is asked in percolation theory. A simple model for the arrangement

of the holes has a nontrivial phase transition as the density of holes

is varied. Below the critical point, the probability of being able to

traverse an infinite system is zero; above the critical point, it is

nonzero. There are critical phenomena (power laws in various quantities)

at the percolation transition, characterised by a set of universal

critical exponents. We will obtain estimates of these critical exponents

by fair means and foul. If time permits, I will also briefly introduce

directed percolation, which has recently acquired a paradigmatic status

as a simple model for turbulence (but I shall defer to Alexander on that).

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