Workshop on
January 9-11, 2008

EURANDOM, Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Programme &Abstracts| Participants |Registration | Practical Information | Pictures


Metastability is a ubiquitous phenomenon in nature, with examples coming from physics, chemistry, biology, climatology and economics. The object of interest is the evolution of systems that make transitions between "metastable states", i.e., quasi-equilibria that appear to be equilibria on large time scales. When being in such a metastable state, the system explores a confined section of the phase space on a short time scale, and makes transitions between different sections on a large time scale. The goal is to develop a mathematical theory for such behavior.

Two approaches have been very successful. One is the pathwise approach, in which the evolution of the system is described with the help of large deviation theory and detailed statements are obtained about the trajectories of the system before, during and after the transition. The other is the potential theoretic approach, in which the system is viewed in an electric network context and transition times are computed in terms of capacities.

The workshop will focus on systems of spins and particles subject to a stochastic dynamics governed by a model Hamiltonian. Examples are Glauber dynamics for Ising spins, Kawasaki dynamics for lattice gas particles, and probabilistic cellular automata.

It is challenging to develop metastability in a broad context, clearing out what parts of the theory are general and what parts are model dependent. Universality is a key notion, with many systems showing similar behavior on large time scales. Much work focusses on the geometry of critical droplets that trigger the metastable cross over and on the tube of trajectories towards the cross over.

Simulations of metastability are hard to perform in a reliable manner, but are helpful in leading the way to understand new phenomena.

Preliminary Programme

Wednesday January 9, 2007

09:00 - 10:30 R. Cerf, Nucleation and growth for the Ising model in $d$ dimensions at very low temperatures
11:00 - 12:30 D. Ioffe, Upper and lower bounds on escape times from metastable states
14.00-14.45 M. Luczak, Glauber dynamics for the meant-field ising model: cut-off, critical power law, and metastability
14.45-15.00 Break
15.00-15.45 F. Manzo, Droplets shape and relaxation time in infinite volume: a simple model
15.45-16.30 A. Bianchi, Sharp asymptotics for metastability in the random field Curie-Weiss model.

18.00 Conference dinner in Restaurant Listers, Kleine Berg 57h, Eindhoven, 040 - 2961370

Thursday January 10, 2007

09:00 - 10:30 F. Martinelli, Dynamical relaxation of a 1D pinning model
11:00 - 12:30 E. Olivieri & E. Scoppola, Escape from metastability:the pathwise viewpoint for conservative dynamics/
How to work out the puzzle of gas-cluster interaction in the Kawasaki dynamics
15:30 - 16:15 E. Cirillo, Metastable behavior of reversible Probabilistic Cellular Automata with

16:30 - 17:15 A. Gaudilliere, Homogeneous nucleation for Kawaski dynamics
17:30 - 18:15 C. Spitoni, Homogeneous nucleation for Glauber dynamics

Friday January 11, 2007

09:00 - 10:30 G. Barkema, Statistical physics of polymer translocation
11:00 - 12:30 V. Sidoravicius & E. Vares, On a randomized PNG model with a columnar defect

Practical Information


There is no registration fee.



Conference Location and Travel

The workshop location is EURANDOM,  Den Dolech 2, 5612 AZ Eindhoven, Laplace Building, 1st floor, LG 1.105.

EURANDOM is located on the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology, in the 'Laplacegebouw' building' (LG on the map). The university is located at 10 minutes walking distance from Eindhoven railway station (take the exit north side and walk towards the tall building on the right with the sign TU/e).

For information on how to come to Eindhoven, please check


EURANDOM made a preliminary group reservation in

- Sandton Hotel Eindhoven City, Stratumsedijk 23d/f, Eindhoven. Special price single room  83* euro, double room 93* euro (breakfast included).

 * excl. tourist tax 3,50 euro per night.

If you want EURANDOM to make a reservation, indicate the requested nights on the registration page.

For private bookings we suggest you consult the web pages of the Tourist Information Eindhoven, Postbus 7, 5600 AA Eindhoven.


January 9-11 lunches are being organised; these are free of costs for all participants, if ordered on the registration form.

On  January 9, there will be a conference dinner. For non-invitees an amount of 35 euro is requested, to be paid at arrival in cash (preferably exact amount in euros). Indicate your attendance on the registration form.


For more information,  please contact Mrs. Lucienne Coolen, workshop officer of  EURANDOM, at coolen 'at'


Anton Bovier (Berlin),  Frank den Hollander (Leiden), Francesca Nardi (Eindhoven)


Name   Affiliation Hotel Arr. Dept.
1 Troiani Alessio UniversitÓ Roma 2 Sandton 8 11
2 Luca Avena MI Leiden x x x
3 Gerard Barkema University of Utrecht x x x
4 Henk van Beijeren ITP Utrecht University x x x
5 Olivier Bertoncini UniversitÚ de Rouen Sandton 8 12
6 Alessandra Bianchi WIAS-Berlin Sandton 8 11
7 Anton  Bovier WIAS-Berlin Sandton 8 11
8 Raphael  Cerf UniversitÚ Paris-Sud Sandton 8 11
9 Emilio Cirillo La Sapienza UniversitÓ di Roma Sandton 8 15
10 Aernout van Enter TR.U. Groningen Sandton 8 11
11 Roberto Fernßndez UniversitÚ de Rouen/CNRS Sandton 9 10
12 Anne Fey EURANDOM/VU x x x
13 Giacomo Di Gesu TU Berlin Sandton 8 11
14 Alex Gaudilliere UniversitÓ Roma 2 Sandton 8 11
15 Cristian Giardina TU/e - EURANDOM x x x
16 Markus Heydenreich TU/e & EURANDOM x x x
17 Frank den Hollander Leiden University/EURANDOM x x x
18 Jan Kuipers Utrecht University x x x
19 Arnaud Le Ny UniversitÚ de Paris-XI-Orsay Sandton 8 11
20 Dima Ioffe Technion, Haifa Sandton 8 11
21 Malwina Luczak London School of Economics Sandton 8 12
22 Francesco Manzo UniversitÓ Roma 1 Sandton 8 11
23 Fabio Martinelli University of Roma 3 Sandton 8 11
24 Francesca Nardi Eindhoven University of Technology   x x
25 Enzo Olivieri UniversitÓ Roma 2 Sandton 8 11
26 Alex Akwasi Opoku University of Groningen x x x
27 Wioletta Ruszel University of Groningen x x x
28 Kevin van de Ruit Technische Universiteit Eindhoven x x x
29 Artem Sapozhnikov CWI x x x
30 Elisabetta Scoppola UniversitÓ Roma 3 Sandton 8 11
31 Vladas Sidoravicius CWI Sandton 8 12
32 Martin  Slowik WIAS-Berlin Sandton 8 11
33 Cristian Spitoni Leiden University/EURANDOM x x x
34 Eulalia Vares CBPF-Centro Brasileiro de Pesquisas Fisicas Sandton 8 12
35 Yao Xin WIAS-Berlin Sandton 8 12

The Organizers would like to acknowledge the following organizations for their contributions



Last modified: 24-02-09
Maintained by
Lucienne Coolen