The Widom-Rowlinson model: Mesoscopic fluctuations for the critical droplet


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We study the critical droplet for a close-to-equilibrium Widom-Rowlinson model of interacting particles in the two-dimensional continuum at low temperatures. The critical droplet is the set of macroscopic states that correspond to saddle points for the passage from a low-density vapour to a high-density liquid. We first show that the critical droplet is close to a disc of a certain deterministic radius. After that we analyse the mesoscopic fluctuations of the surface of the critical droplet. These are built on microscopic fluctuations of the particles in the boundary layer, and provide a rigorous foundation for what in physics literature is known as capillary waves. Our results represent the first detailed analysis of the surface fluctuations down to mesoscopic and microscopic precision. As such they constitute a fundamental step in the study of phase separation in continuum interacting particle systems from the perspective of stochastic geometry. At the same time, they serve as a basis for the study of a non-equilibrium version of the Widom-Rowlinson model, to be analysed elsewhere, where they lead to a correction term in the Arrhenius formula for the average vapour-liquid crossover time.
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