Chromatic polynomials, Potts models and all that

Alan D. Sokal

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The q-state Potts model can be defined on an arbitrary finite graph, and its partition function encodes much important information about that graph, including its chromatic polynomial, flow polynomial and reliability polynomial. The complex zeros of the Potts partition function are of interest both to statistical mechanicians and to combinatorists. I give a pedagogical introduction to all these problems, and then sketch two recent results: (a) Construction of a countable family of planar graphs whose chromatic zeros are dense in the whole complex q-plane except possibly for the disc |q-1|<1. (b) Proof of a universal upper bound on the q-plane zeros of the chromatic polynomial (or antiferromagnetic Potts-model partition function) in terms of the graph's maximum degree.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)324-332
    Number of pages9
    JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
    Issue number1
    StatePublished - May 1 2000

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
    • Statistics and Probability


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