Percolation: An easy example of renormalization

Malcolm Forster
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Kenneth Wilson won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1982 for applying renormalization group, which he learnt from quantum field theory (QFT), to problems in statistical physics—the induced magnetization of materials (ferromagnetism) and the evaporation and condensation of fluids (phase transitions). See Wilson (1983). The renormalization group got its name from its early applications in QFT. There, it appeared to be a rather ad hoc method of subtracting away unwanted infinities. The further allegation was that the procedure is so horrendously complicated that one cannot see the forest for the trees. The second allegation is justified in the applications that made it famous. But it is not true of the following example, which appears in Chowdhury and Stauffer (2000, 486-488).
Keywords renormalization  percolation phenomenon
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