## Introduction

The *Mark Kac seminar on Stochastics and Physics* is a monthly
meeting held in Utrecht, the Netherlands, between probabilists and
statistical physicists, covering their common area of interest. The range
of topics covered includes:

- Interacting particle systems
- Ergodic theory and dynamical systems
- Gibbs random fields and percolation
- Disordered media
- Statistical mechanics
- Quantum mechanics and quantum probability
- Stochastic processes and large deviations

## History

The seminar originally started in 1977 with informal meetings of a small group of Dutch mathematicians and physicists discussing topics in their common field of interest. Following a suggestion by P.W. Kasteleyn, one of the founding fathers of statistical physics in the Netherlands, the seminar was named after Mark Kac in 1985. Mark Kac had close contacts with many Dutch scientists and was a regular visitor until his death in 1984. His work is at the very core of the area in mathematical physics that the seminar tries to cover.

## Main speakers

Since the academic season 1985–1986, every season a main speaker is invited to give a series of lectures (usually three lectures, often in Spring). Here is a list of all the main speakers we have had in the past, together with the topics of their lectures:

- Geoffrey Grimmett Interacting particle systems and random networks
- John T. Lewis LDP in statistical mechanics and its application to the Boson gas
- Bernard Souillard Electron and wave propagation in disordered media
- Burkhard Kümmerer Non-commutative probability
- Herbert Spohn Large scale dynamics of interacting particle systems
- Christian Maes Stochastic cellular automata
- Erwin Bolthausen Large deviations with applications
- Reinhard Werner Large deviations and mean field systems
- Enzo Olivieri Metastability
- Jennifer Chayes Percolation
- Domokos Szasz Ergodicity of the billard system
- Gordon Slade Lace expansion
- Senya Shlosman Metastability
- Jeffrey Steif Ergodic properties of Gibbs states
- Michael Baake Quasicrystals
- Wendelin Werner Critical exponents, conformal invariance and planar Brownian motion
- Olle Häggström Percolation and spatial interaction
- Kurt Johansson Random matrices
- Charles-Edouard Pfister On the nature of isotherms at first order phase transitions
- Bertrand Duplantier Conformal random geometry & quantum gravity
- Alain-Sol Sznitman Random motions in random media
- Thierry Bodineau Phase coexistence for lattice models
- Roberto Fernández Cluster expansions for hard-core systems
- Franz Merkl What are crystals?
- Yvan Velenik Ornstein-Zernike theory and applications
- Alan Sokal Some combinatorics and analysis arising out of the Potts model
- Anton Bovier Extreme universality
- Dima Ioffe Stochastic representations of quantum Gibbs states
- Gordon Slade Self-avoiding walk and the renormalisation group
- Rongfeng Sun Polynomial chaos and scaling limits of disordered systems
- Milton Jara The weak KPZ universality conjecture
- Antti Kupiainen Renormalization Group and stochastic PDE’s

## Organizers

The Mark Kac seminar has been organized by the following people:

- Frank den Hollander and Hans Maassen (until 2000)
- Aernout van Enter and Remco van der Hofstad (2000–2010)
- Roberto Fernández and Wouter Kager (since 2010)