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We present the results of a high-statistics Monte Carlo simulation of a phantom crystalline (fixed-connectivity) membrane with free boundary. We verify the existence of a flat phase by examining lattices of size up to 128^2. The Hamiltonian of the model is the sum of a simple spring pair potential, with no hard-core repulsion, and bending energy. The only free parameter is the the bending rigidity \kappa. In-plane elastic constants are not explicitly introduced. We obtain the remarkable result that this simple model dynamically generates the elastic constants required to stabilise the flat phase. We present measurements of the size (Flory) exponent \nu and the roughness exponent \zeta. We also determine the critical exponents \eta and \eta_u describing the scale dependence of the bending rigidity (\kappa(q) \sim q^{-\eta}) and the induced elastic constants (\lambda(q) \sim \mu(q) \sim q^{\eta_u}). At bending rigidity \kappa = 1.1, we find \nu = 0.95(5) (Hausdorff dimension d_H = 2/\nu = 2.1(1)$), \zeta = 0.64(2) and \eta_u = 0.50(1). These results are consistent with the scaling relation \zeta = (2+\eta_u)/4. The additional scaling relation \eta = 2(1-\zeta) implies \eta = 0.72(4). A direct measurement of \eta from the power-law decay of the normal-normal correlation function yields \eta \approx 0.6 on the 128^2 lattice.

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Latex, 31 Pages with 14 figures. Improved introduction, appendix A and discussion of numerical methods. Some references added. Revised version to appear in J. Phys. I More information at


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