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Finite temperature field theory and phase transitions

Author: Mariano Quiros
Url: http://xxx.lanl.gov/abs/hep-ph/9901312
Format: Ps, Pdf
Category: Thermal Field Theory
Pages: 73
Clicks: 2198

We review different aspects of field theory at zero and finite temperature, related to the theory of phase transitions. We discuss different renormalization conditions for the effective potential at zero temperature, emphasizing in particular the MS-bar renormalization scheme. Finite temperature field theory is discussed in the real and imaginary time formalisms, showing their equivalence in simple examples. Bubble nucleation by thermal tunneling, and the subsequent development of the phase transition is described in some detail. Some attention is also devoted to the breakdown of the perturbative expansion and the infrared problem in the finite temperature field theory. Finally the application to baryogenesis at the electroweak phase transition is done in the Standard Model and in the Minimal Supersymmetric Standard Model. In all cases we have translated the condition of not washing out any previously generated baryon asymmetry by upper bounds on the Higgs mass.

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