, Volume 136, Issue 2, pp 263-297
Date: 29 Dec 2005

Gaussian fluctuations of characters of symmetric groups and of Young diagrams

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We study asymptotics of reducible representations of the symmetric groups S q for large q. We decompose such a representation as a sum of irreducible components (or, alternatively, Young diagrams) and we ask what is the character of a randomly chosen component (or, what is the shape of a randomly chosen Young diagram). Our main result is that for a large class of representations the fluctuations of characters (and fluctuations of the shape of the Young diagrams) are asymptotically Gaussian; in this way we generalize Kerov's central limit theorem. The considered class consists of representations for which the characters almost factorize and this class includes, for example, the left-regular representation (Plancherel measure), irreducible representations and tensor representations. This class is also closed under induction, restriction, outer product and tensor product of representations. Our main tool in the proof is the method of genus expansion, well known from the random matrix theory.