Dynamics near criticality

Martin Hairer, University of Warwick
Fine Hall 314

Heuristically, one can give arguments why the fluctuations of classical models of statistical mechanics near criticality are typically expected to be described by nonlinear stochastic PDEs. Unfortunately, in most examples of interest, these equations seem to make no sense whatsoever due to the appearance of infinities or of terms that are simply ill-posed. I will give an overview of a new theory of "regularity structures" that allows to treat such equations in a unified way, which in turn leads to a number of natural conjectures. One interesting byproduct of the theory is a new (and rigorous) interpretation of "renormalisation group techniques" in this context. At the technical level, the main novel idea involves a complete rethinking of the notion of "Taylor expansion" at a point for a function or even a distribution. The resulting structure is useful for encoding "recipes" allowing to multiply distributions that could not normally be multiplied. This provides a robust analytical framework to encode renormalisation procedures.