SI3330 Thermal Field Theory 7.5 credits
The course will provide basic understanding and some applications of relativistic thermal quantum field theory. Statistical methods are nowadays widely used in condensed matter physics, plasma physics, collider physics (hadron colliders), and cosmology. This course will focus on the basic concepts of relativistic statistical systems and their applications to cosmology. The course starts with a brief review of statistical physics and quantum field theory (QFT). Even though basic knowledge in both fields is required, a significant part of the lectures is used to solidify fundamental aspects of QFT that appear in statistical systems in similar fashion as in vacuum. In addition, some concepts that are usually not covered in a first course of QFT are discussed and applied to thermal systems, e.g. fermionic path integrals, Goldstone's theorem, and Ward identities. The second part of the course addresses more recent developments in thermal field theory as e.g. resummation techniques, dynamical screening, and hard thermal loops. In the third part, applications to cosmology are discussed. This could include some topics of the following list: Spontaneous symmetry breaking and restoration, phase transitions and inflation, transport equations and baryogenesis.
Educational levelThird cycle
Academic level (A-D)D
At present this course is not scheduled to be offered.
Course main content
- Introduction. General concepts of statistical physics and quantum field theory
- Quantization of the bosonic field at finite temperature; Matsubara frequencies; Feynman rules at finite temperature
- Quantization of the fermionic field at finite temperature; fermionic path integrals and coherent state formalism
- Quantization of the gauge fields at finite temperature; ghosts and blackbody radiation; static screening
- Renormalization and infrared problems
- Collective excitations in a plasma
- Equivalence of real-time and imaginary-time formalism
- Linear response theory
- Resummation and effective actions; Daisy diagrams
- Hard thermal loop expansion
- Dynamical screening
- Spontaneous symmetry breaking and restoration
- Phase transitions and inflation
- Transport equations and baryogenesis; Kadanoff-Baym equations in Wigner space
Lecture I: Introduction. Canonical ensembles in statistical physics. Path integral formulation of quantum mechanics.
Lecture II: Imaginary time formalism of bosonic systems.
Supplement I: Regulariziation and renormalization in QFT.
Lecture III: Real time formalism of bosonic systems.
Lecture IV: Fermionic systems in TFT.
Lecture V: Quantization of gauge fields in QFT and TFT.
Lecture VI: Seminars.
Lecture VII: Spontaneous symmetry breaking at finite temperature. Seminar.
Supplement II: Non-abelian gauge fields.
Lecture VIII: Seminar.
Lecture IX: Seminar. Quantum Boltzmann equations from the real time formalism.
Discussion of the problem set.
The course is mainly intended to graduate students with interest in theoretical physics and cosmology. Basic knowledge in statistical mechanics and quantum field theory are prerequesites.
- M. Le Bellac, Thermal field theory, Cambridge University Press, 1996
- J. I. Kapusta, Finite-temperature field theory, Cambridge University Press, 1989
Requirements for final grade
Hand in assignments.
Tommy Ohlsson <email@example.com>
Course plan valid from: Spring 09.