Random words, quantum statistics, central limits, random matrices
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Random words, quantum statistics, central limits, random matrices

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Recently Tracy and Widom conjectured [math.CO/9904042] and Johansson proved [math.CO/9906120] that the expected shape \lambda of the semi-standard tableau produced by a random word in k letters is asymptotically the spectrum of a random traceless k by k GUE matrix. In this article we give two arguments for this fact. In the first argument, we realize the random matrix itself as a quantum random variable on the space of random words, if this space is viewed as a quantum state space. In the second argument, we show that the distribution of \lambda is asymptotically given by the usual local limit theorem, but the resulting Gaussian is disguised by an extra polynomial weight and by reflecting walls. Both arguments more generally apply to an arbitrary finite-dimensional representation V of an arbitrary simple Lie algebra g. In the original question, V is the defining representation of g = su(k).

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