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Vacuum decay in quantum field theory
Calzetta, Esteban A., 1958-; Roura, Albert; Verdaguer Oms, Enric, 1950-
Universitat de Barcelona
We study the contribution to vacuum decay in field theory due to the interaction between the long- and short-wavelength modes of the field. The field model considered consists of a scalar field of mass M with a cubic term in the potential. The dynamics of the long-wavelength modes becomes diffusive in this interaction. The diffusive behavior is described by the reduced Wigner function that characterizes the state of the long-wavelength modes. This function is obtained from the whole Wigner function by integration of the degrees of freedom of the short-wavelength modes. The dynamical equation for the reduced Wigner function becomes a kind of Fokker-Planck equation which is solved with suitable boundary conditions enforcing an initial metastable vacuum state trapped in the potential well. As a result a finite activation rate is found, even at zero temperature, for the formation of true vacuum bubbles of size M-1. This effect makes a substantial contribution to the total decay rate.
Teoria quàntica de camps
Efecte túnel
Sistemes oberts
Quantum field theory
Tunneling (Physics)
Open systems (Physics)
(c) The American Physical Society, 2001
The American Physical Society

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