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Integral iterations for harmonic maps

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We study minimal harmonic maps $g: {\mathbb{C}} \to SO(3) \backslash SL(3,{\mathbb{R}})$, parameterized by polynomial cubic differentials $P$ in the plane. The asymptotic structure of such a $g$ is determined by a convex polygon $Y(P)$ in ${\mathbb{RP}^2}$. We give a conjectural method for determining $Y(P)$ by solving a fixed-point problem for a certain integral operator. The technology of spectral networks and BPS state counts is a key input to the formulation of this fixed-point problem. We work out two families of examples in detail.

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First an `irregular Riemann-Hilbert correspondence' is established for meromorphic connections on principal G-bundles over a disc, where G is any connected complex reductive group. Secondly, in the case of poles of order two, isomonodromic deformations of such connections are considered and it is proved that the classical actions of quantum Weyl groups found by De Concini, Kac and Procesi do arise from isomonodromy (and so have a purely geometrical origin). Finally a certain flat connection appearing in work of De Concini and Toledano Laredo is derived from isomonodromy, indicating that the above result is the classical analogue of their conjectural Kohno-Drinfeld theorem for quantum Weyl groups.
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For a higher order linear ordinary differential operator P, its Stokes curve bifurcates in general when it hits another turning point of P. This phenomenon is most neatly understandable by taking into account Stokes curves emanating from virtual turning points, together with those from ordinary turning points. This understanding of the bifurcation of a Stokes curve plays an important role in resolving a paradox recently found in the Noumi-Yamada system, a system of linear differential equations associated with the fourth Painleve equation. Comment: 7 pages, 4 figures