Existence and uniqueness of the Liouville quantum gravity metric for γ ∈ ( 0, 2 )
Abstract: We show that for each γ∈(0, 2), there is a unique metric (i.e., distance function) associated with γ-Liouville quantum gravity (LQG). More precisely, we show that for the whole-plane Gaussian free field (GFF) h, there is a unique random metric Dh associated with the Riemannian metric tensor “eγh(dx2+dy2)” on C which is characterized by a certain list of axioms: it is locally determined by h and it transforms appropriately when either adding a continuous function to h or applying a conformal automorphism of C (i.e., a complex affine transformation). Metrics associated with other variants of the GFF can be constructed using local absolute continuity. The γ-LQG metric can be constructed explicitly as the scaling limit of Liouville first passage percolation (LFPP), the random metric obtained by exponentiating a mollified version of the GFF. Earlier work by Ding et al. (Tightness of Liouville first passage percolation for γ∈(0, 2), 2019. arXiv:1904.08021) showed that LFPP admits non-trivial subsequential limits. This paper shows that the subsequential limit is unique and satisfies our list of axioms. In the case when γ=8/3, our metric coincides with the 8/3-LQG metric constructed in previous work by Miller and Sheffield, which in turn is equivalent to the Brownian map for a certain variant of the GFF. For general γ∈(0, 2), we conjecture that our metric is the Gromov–Hausdorff limit of appropriate weighted random planar map models, equipped with their graph distance. We include a substantial list of open problems.
Funder: University of Cambridge