Questions tagged [thermal-field-theory]

Thermal Field Theory or Finite Temperature Field Theory deals with of methods to calculate expectation values of physical observables of a Quantum Field Theory at finite temperature.

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Proof of Loss of Lorentz Invariance in Finite Temperature Quantum Field Theory

In the standard quantum field theory we always take the vacuum to be a invariant under Lorentz transformation. For simple cases, at least for free fields, is very simple to actually prove this. Now ...
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4answers
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temperature of electroweak phase transition

How does one estimate the temperature at which electroweak phase transition (EWPT) occurred? Somewhere I have read it is around 100GeV but the reason was not explained.
13
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1answer
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What is the difference between quantum fluctuations and thermal fluctuations?

Start with a simple scalar field Lagrangian $\mathcal{L}(\phi)$ at zero temperature $T = 0$, which has a hidden symmetry and spontaneously break it. By the standard procedure a field $\phi$ is ...
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484 views

Capturing (perturbatively) non-equilibrium field theory effects using “elementary” methods

I am considering a system of two interacting scalar fields: $\psi$, and $\phi$. The Lagrangian is given by: \begin{equation} \mathcal{L}[\psi]=\frac{1}{2}\partial_\mu\psi\partial^\mu\psi+\frac{1}{2}\...
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Why is Euclidean Time Periodic?

I've been reading a bit about finite temperature quantum field theory, and I keep coming across the claim that when one Euclideanizes time $$it\to\tau,$$ the time dimension becomes periodic, with ...
7
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1answer
408 views

Is there any physical meaning for such a correlation function?

Consider a thermal scalar field theory, we have the partition functional $$Z={\rm tr}(e^{-\beta H}).$$ We can build this theory as an Euclidean quantum field theory $$Z=\int\mathcal{D}\Phi\,e^{-S_E[\...
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1answer
78 views

Which is the state of the art of relativistic many-body QFT?

We have a class of relativistic quantum field theories, typically used to calculate particle interactions (scattering) or to extend the Standard Model. Typically one start with a "free" theory, then ...
5
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2answers
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What's the true reason behind thermal expansion?

Thermal expansion is a normal concept everyday. There are 2 explanations: 1, thermal expansion result in stress, then result in deformation 2, thermal expansion result in deformation, then result in ...
5
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2answers
151 views

What does the Temperature of a QFT physically mean?

In elementary statistical mechanics, one can think of temperature as arising from the average kinetic energy of particles in the ensemble. Is there a similar way to think about the temperature of a ...
5
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2answers
156 views

How does QED at a finite temperature differ from QED at zero temperature?

Currently, I do not have any knowledge of finite temperature field theory. But I have learnt ordinary QFT calculations and I am reasonably familiar with Statistical mechanics. With this background, I ...
5
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1answer
242 views

How it can be: separable Hilbert space in fundametial physics, and non-separable in condensed matter physics?

The fundamental QFT is formulated in a separable Hilbert space. But mostly approaches in condensed matter physics, e. g. thermal field dynamics, use a non-separable Hilbert space. It looks like it is ...
4
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1answer
351 views

Quantum critical region governed by quantum critical point

I am trying to understand the following statement about quantum critical regions associated with a quantum phase transition from page 4 of these lecture notes on holographic superconductors: The ...
3
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1answer
203 views

How did dark matter become a relic?

Why did the decay rate of the dark matter particles fall when the temperature of the Universe $T_U$ dropped below dark matter mass $M_{DM}$? In particular, why can it not decay into lighter particles ...
3
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1answer
56 views

Why is chaos a common property of thermal systems?

https://arxiv.org/abs/1811.06949 pg 3 mentions that chaos is a common property of thermal systems. Can someone please explain why that is? While looking at [1], I found that indeed most examples ...
3
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1answer
86 views

Estimate of trace of powers of density matrix

Given a very generic, lower bounded Hamiltonian, is there a estimate on how $Tr(\rho^{1/k})$ grows as $k>0$ increases? Does this quantity diverge as a function of $N$, the degrees of freedom of the ...
3
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2answers
81 views

Multiplying Distributions in finite-temperature Keldysh/Thermo-field field theory

In the real-time finite temperature formalisms (Schwinger-Keldysh or Thermo-field), the free propagators are often defined with terms like: $$ \mathrm{Dirac\ Delta}\ \times \ \mathrm{Thermal\ ...
3
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1answer
200 views

Does non-unitarity necessarily imply the probability leakage?

I know that in quantum computing and also in the studies of the information loss inside black holes people often consider the following construction. The composite system, which consists of subparts $...
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0answers
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What is the interpretation of Matsubara frequencies?

In QFT, the Matsubara frequencies are defined as $$\omega_n=\dfrac{2n\pi}{\hbar\beta}\quad\text{(bosons)}\quad\text{or}\quad\omega_n=\dfrac{(2n+1)\pi}{\hbar\beta}\quad\text{(fermions)},$$ where $\beta=...
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1answer
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What are thermal photons?

What is the difference between an ordinary photon and a thermal photon? Do thermal photons act as an exchange particle for any forces similar to an ordinary photon which acts as an exchange particle ...
2
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1answer
184 views

Temperature and Witten index

Assume that the spectrum of some supersymmetric theory is discrete, then the Witten index is expected to be independent of temperature given by $T = 1/\beta$. However, it is well-known (see this) that ...
2
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1answer
110 views

“Contraction Property of thermal density matrix” in the Maldacena's paper of A Bound of Chaos

In the paper, https://arxiv.org/abs/1503.01409 (Maldacena, et al. “A Bound on Chaos.”) in equation (24), the authors write an inequality, $$ Tr( y^{1+\eta} V y^{3-\eta} V ) \leq Tr(y V y^2 V) $$Where $...
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1answer
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Matsubara frequencies as poles of distribution function

Is there any deeper meaning to why the bosonic/fermionic Matsubara frequencies appear as poles of their corresponding distribution functions (with an additional $i$)? For example in the bosonic case ...
2
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1answer
174 views

Simple generalization of the Feynman rules for QFT to thermal QFT?

Assuming that one knows Feynman rules for QFT, what is the simplest way to generalize them for $T \neq 0$ case? What is the main difference? Can we just read them off from Lagrangian the same way as ...
2
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1answer
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Derivation of Thermally averaged cross sections

In many sources discussing neutrino decoupling I find the following claim: "The thermally averaged rate of weak interactions is given by: $\Gamma = n \langle\sigma |v|\rangle$, where $\langle\...
2
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1answer
125 views

Confusion about trace in the vertex term of Lagrangian

I was reading through Mariano Quirós's lecture notes titled "Finite Temperature Field Theory and Phase Transitions". In Sec. 1.2, the author is calculating the one-loop effective potential at $T=0$. ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Guessing the temperature dependence of a decay rate $\Gamma(A\to B+B)$

For a two-body decay of the form $$A\to B+B$$ if the interaction strength controlling the decay is $\lambda$, the Feynman amplitude $\mathcal{M}$ will contain a factor of $\lambda$ from the vertex ...
2
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1answer
171 views

How does one ensure that effective action includes all possible quantum corrections to the clasical action?

Consider a classical scalar field theory for a real scalar field $\phi$ given by $$\mathcal{L}=\frac{1}{2}(\partial_\mu\phi)^2-V(\phi)$$ where $V(\phi)$ is the classical potential. In quantum field ...
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Partition function for a system in local thermal equilibrium

For a system in equilibrium, the partition function is standard. But if the system is in local thermal equilibrium but stationary (i.e. zero or negligible time variation), but the temperature varies ...
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Reference for Feynman diagram technique(position space) in Thermal Field Theory

I am trying to study perturbative expansion of Sachdev-Ye-Kitaev model, where I know that the dominant terms are the Melonic diagrams. I am interested in seeing how perturbative corrections affect the ...
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25 views

How does thermalisation make incoherent waves into coherent ones?

Thermalisation is the process by which out-of-equilibrium systems reach equilibrium. Coherence refers to the phases of waves being a constant difference apart. While reading a paper on axion stars, I ...
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91 views

Thermal density matrix QFT

The density matrix of a system at finite temperature is give by $$\langle\psi_1|\rho|\psi_2\rangle=\frac{1}{Z}\langle\psi_1|e^{-\beta H}|\psi_2\rangle, $$ where $Z$ is a normalization constant. We ...
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31 views

Proof of factorization at late times for chaotic systems

While reading the paper "A bound on Chaos - Maldacena et. al", https://arxiv.org/abs/1503.01409 in equation (23) of the paper they factorize a correlator of the form, $$ Tr [\rho^{1/2} W(t) V \rho^{1/...
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Boundary times and bulk time in eternal black hole duality

In AdS/CFT, a particular duality is the correspondence between an eternal black hole in AdS spacetime (a large maximally extended AdS-Schwarzschild black hole) and the thermofield double state, \begin{...
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178 views

Matsubara sum for particle number

I am trying to derive the electron number equation for some thermal system. There is something wrong in my calculation. The action has the following form: $S = \sum_{k,n \in \rm{odd}} \bar{\psi}[-\...
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3answers
342 views

Is the thermal expectation value of a square of Hermitian operator always finite?

If $\mathcal{O}$ is an hermitian operator in a system given by Hamiltonian $H$ and inverse temperature $\beta$, is $$\langle \mathcal{O} \mathcal{O} \rangle = Tr (e^{-\beta H} \mathcal{O} \mathcal{O})...
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1answer
418 views

Thermal mass and Thermal Width

I have a question about understanding the physical interpretation of the thermal mass and width of a particle. If we consider a particle in a plasma (which lets say is in the early universe and so ...
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1answer
559 views

Energy density and pressure in thermal quantum field theory

In QFT, energy density and pressure can be defined from Noether current due to Poincare translation invariance. What if we are considering a system at finite temperature? For a scalar field, we have ...
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1answer
25 views

How does a thermal propagator work?

I am looking at a propagator in the Hubbard model (in the strong coupling limit) and my timescale is $\beta$. I see that for longer (imaginary) times $\tau$, the particle can propagate further away. ...
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1answer
80 views

Temperature reduction in 4D QED

I would like to find references for the following topic. Consider QED with non-zero temperatures, which is naively constructed by Wick rotation. Then, consider the case of high temperatures, $\beta\...
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1answer
84 views

Polyakov Loop and Chemical Potential

I have read in a paper (http://arxiv.org/abs/1203.3556) that in a thermal field theory, the chemical potential is $\mu=T \ln P$ where $$T^{-1}=\int_{0}^{\beta} \sqrt{-\xi^2}dt,$$ $\xi$ is $\partial_t$,...
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0answers
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Conceptual Problems in Understanding Thermal Field States in nonrelativistic QED

I have conceptual problems understanding the notion of thermal states in the context of nonrelatistic (cavity) QED. My main problem is the definition of temperature associated to the (quantized) ...
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71 views

Cross-sections at zero temperature and high temperature for a process and its reverse

If the Feynman amplitude for a $2-2$ forward scattering $ab\to cd$ is denoted by $\mathcal{M}_{ab\to cd}$ and that of the reverse scattering process, $cd\to ab$, is denoted by $\mathcal{M}_{cd\to ab}$...
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Classical chaos at finite temperature

Is there any finite temperature generalization of classical chaos? In quantum chaos, at least with regards to out-of-time-order correlators, the generalization is clear - one simply takes a thermal ...
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0answers
45 views

Electroweak phase transition and finite temperature field theory formalism

We do our calculations in standard quantum field theory at zero temperature where we can derive pole mass and renormalized mass and ... Due to my understanding, pole mass is independent of any energy ...
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34 views

Normal ordering in 2D thermal CFT

I am trying to understand the notion of normal ordering in thermal CFT in 2D CFT, for instance I consider a two-point function of scalar primary operator with $\Delta$ dimension at finite temperature $...
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0answers
48 views

How can we calculate the imaginary part of a fraction that has a term $i0_+$ in the denominator?

I have recently started dealing with thermal field theory for fermions and I am faced with a paper that, at some point, tries to calculate the imaginary part of a fraction that looks like: $$\frac{1}{...
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What effect does multiplying $\mathscr{L}$ by $-1$ have on the propagator?

I am following along Ashok Das' development of Thermofield dynamics in his book Finite Temperature Field Theory. Here you have two real scalar fields $\phi_1$ and $\phi_2$ with Lagrangian density $$ \...
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0answers
188 views

Finite temperature quantum mechanics and mixed states

Is it necessarily true that a quantum-mechanical system in thermal equilibrium is in a mixed state? If so, why is this the case? Is there any physical intuition as to why one cannot use a pure state ...
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0answers
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Thermal field theory of isolated electroweak plasma

I need to understand something specific. The theory of electroweak temperature says that when you have a plasma of particles at energy above the electroweak phase transition (100 GeV). The Higgs ...
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0answers
155 views

Fermion boundary condition for a thermal compact circle

Is this true that for fermion statistical systems in the thermal phase, with Euclidean time, $$ \beta=1/T=t_E $$ the Euclidean time will be chosen to be anti-periodic for fermion boundary ...