We study the probability distribution P(H,t,L) of the surface height h(x=0,t)=H in the Kardar-Parisi-Zhang (KPZ) equation in 1+1 dimension when starting from a parabolic interface, h(x,t=0)=x2/L. The limits of L→∞ and L→0 have been recently solved exactly for any t>0. Here we address the early-time behavior of P(H,t,L) for general L. We employ the weak-noise theory - a variant of WKB approximation - which yields the optimal history of the interface, conditioned on reaching the given height H at the origin at time t. We find that at small HP(H,t,L) is Gaussian, but its tails are non-Gaussian and highly asymmetric. In the leading order and in a proper moving frame, the tails behave as -lnP=f+|H|5/2/t1/2 and f-|H|3/2/t1/2. The factor f+(L,t) monotonically increases as a function of L, interpolating between time-independent values at L=0 and L=∞ that were previously known. The factor f- is independent of L and t, signaling universality of this tail for a whole class of deterministic initial conditions.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
A.K. was supported by NSF Grant No. DMR1306734. B.M. acknowledges financial support from the Israel Science Foundation (Grant No. 807/16) and the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation (BSF) (Grant No. 2012145), and hospitality of the William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute of the University of Minnesota.
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