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The critical ground state of the antiferromagnetic triangular Ising model is studied with finite-size scaling, with the use of exact techniques and numerical transfer-matrix methods. Exact solution of the model in zero field yields a conformal anomaly equal to 1, and values of critical exponents. For nonzero fields, dominant eigenvalues of the transfer matrix are computed for systems with linear dimensions up to 27 with the use of an efficient coding of spin states as a system of nonintersecting strings. The results are in perfect agreement with the Gaussian-model–Coulomb-gas scenario proposed by Nienhuis et al. for this model. Quantitative agreement is found with the predictions for exponents of spin-wave and vortex operators. Furthermore, we locate the field-induced Kosterlitz-Thouless transition to a long-range-ordered state at a field Hc=0.266±0.010.

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©1993 The American Physical Society