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This paper was originally published in International Mathematics Research Notices. To download a preprint of this paper just click here.

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The Steepest Descent Method for Orthogonal Polynomials on the Real Line with Varying Weights

Kenneth T.-R. McLaughlin
Department of Mathematics, University of Arizona, Tucson

Peter D. Miller
Department of Mathematics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor


We obtain Plancherel-Rotach type asymptotics valid in all regions of the complex plane for orthogonal polynomials with varying weights of the form e-NV(x) on the real line, assuming that V has only two Lipschitz continuous derivatives and that the corresponding equilibrium measure has typical support properties. As an application we extend the universality class for bulk and edge asymptotics of eigenvalue statistics in unitary invariant Hermitian matrix theory. We develop a new technique of asymptotic anslysis for matrix Riemann-Hilbert problems with nonanalytic jump matrices suitable for analyzing such problems even near transition points where the solution changes from oscillatory to exponential behavior.

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