Anton Bovier (University of Bonn)

Title:  Metastability: a universal approach through potential theory.


In these lectures I will give an introduction and overview of the achievement and challanges of the so-called potential theoretic approach to  metastablility.

There will be three parts:

Part 1: Potential theory for (reversible) Markov processes and the abstract definition of metastables sets in terms of capacities. Emergence of universal features.

Part 2: Variational principles and the computation of capacities. Blocking methods and the production of entropy. Examples.

Part 3: Challenges in high dimensions, coupling methods and regularity.

The talk by Florent Barret will show a nice application of the general theory in the setting of stochastic partial differential equations.

Reference: A. Bovier, Metastability,  in Methods of Contemporary Statistical Mechanics, R. Kotecky, Ed., LNM 1970, Springer, 2009.