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Metastability in reversible diffusion processes I: Sharp asymptotics for capacities and exit times

Anton BovierMichael EckhoffVéronique GayrardMarkus Klein — 2004

Journal of the European Mathematical Society

We develop a potential theoretic approach to the problem of metastability for reversible diffusion processes with generators of the form ϵ Δ + F ( · ) on d or subsets of d , where F is a smooth function with finitely many local minima. In analogy to previous work on discrete Markov chains, we show that metastable exit times from the attractive domains of the minima of F can be related, up to multiplicative errors that tend to one as ϵ 0 , to the capacities of suitably constructed sets. We show that these capacities...

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