Nonequilibrium quantum fields from first principles
Institut für Theoretische Physik, Universität Heidelberg, Philosophenweg 16, 69120, Heidelberg, Germany
Accepted: 2 January 2006
Published online: 29 August 2006
Calculations of nonequilibrium processes become increasingly feasable in quantum field theory from first principles. There has been important progress in our analytical understanding based on 2PI generating functionals. In addition, for the first time direct lattice simulations based on stochastic quantization techniques have been achieved. The quantitative descriptions of characteristic far-from-equilibrium time scales and thermal equilibration in quantum field theory point out new phenomena such as prethermalization. They determine the range of validity of standard transport or semi-classical approaches, on which most of our ideas about nonequilibrium dynamics were based so far. These are crucial ingredients to understand important phenomena in high-energy physics related to collision experiments of heavy nuclei, early universe cosmology and complex many-body systems.
PACS: 11.10.Wx Finite-temperature field theory – / 12.38.Mh Quark-gluon plasma – / 05.70.Ln Nonequilibrium and irreversible thermodynamics –
© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag, 2006