Classical fields near thermal equilibrium


Journal Article

We discuss the classical limit for the long-distance (“soft”) modes of a quantum field when the hard modes of the field are in thermal equilibrium. We address the question of the correct semiclassical dynamics when a momentum cutoff [Formula presented] is introduced. Higher order contributions lead to a stochastic interpretation for the effective action in analogy with quantum Brownian motion, resulting in dissipation and decoherence for the evolution of the soft modes. Particular emphasis is put on the understanding of dissipation. Our discussion focuses mostly on scalar fields, but we make some remarks on the extension to gauge theories. © 1997 The American Physical Society.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Greiner, C; Müller, B

Published Date

  • January 1, 1997

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 55 / 2

Start / End Page

  • 1026 - 1046

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1550-2368

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1550-7998

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/PhysRevD.55.1026

Citation Source

  • Scopus