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Physics  2009 

Exactly Solvable Birth and Death Processes

DOI: 10.1063/1.3215983

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Many examples of exactly solvable birth and death processes, a typical stationary Markov chain, are presented together with the explicit expressions of the transition probabilities. They are derived by similarity transforming exactly solvable `matrix' quantum mechanics, which is recently proposed by Odake and the author. The ($q$-)Askey-scheme of hypergeometric orthogonal polynomials of a discrete variable and their dual polynomials play a central role. The most generic solvable birth/death rates are rational functions of $q^x$ ($x$ being the population) corresponding to the $q$-Racah polynomial.


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