Advances in Theoretical and Mathematical Physics

Volume 13 (2009)

Number 5

Dimer models, free fermions and super quantum mechanics

Pages: 1255 – 1315



Robbert Dijkgraaf

Domenico Orlando

Susanne Reffert


This note relates topics in statistical mechanics, graph theory and combinatorics, lattice quantum field theory, super quantum mechanics and string theory. We give a precise relation between the dimer model on a graph embedded on a torus and the massless free Majorana fermion living on the same lattice. A loop expansion of the fermion determinant is performed, where the loops turn out to be compositions of two perfect matchings. These loop states are sorted into co-chain groups using categorification techniques similar to the ones used for categorifying knot polynomials. The Euler characteristic of the resulting co-chain complex recovers the Newton polynomial of the dimer model. We reinterpret this system as supersymmetric quantum mechanics, where configurations with vanishing net winding number form the ground states. Finally, we make use of the quiver gauge theory-dimer model correspondence to obtain an interpretation of the loops in terms of the physics of D-branes probing a toric Calabi-Yau singularity.

Full Text (PDF format)