Thermal Field Theory

Course code: FSI3330
Credits: 5

Course information, fall 2006

Problem Set

The solutions to the problems will be discussed in one of the sessions. postscript


The course will take place on Wednesdays at 15:15 in seminar room A4:1069. Starting date is 2006-11-01.

Wed, November 1, 2006
Lecture I: Introduction. Canonical ensembles in statistical physics.
Path integral formulation of quantum mechanics.
Wed, November 8, 2006
Lecture II: Imaginary time formalism of bosonic systems.
Fr, November 10, 2006
Supplement I: Regulariziation and renormalization in QFT.
Wed, November 15, 2006
Lecture III: Real time formalism of bosonic systems.
Wed, November 22, 2006
Lecture IV: Fermionic systems in TFT.
Wed, November 29, 2006
Lecture V: Quantization of gauge fields in QFT and TFT.
Wed, December 6, 2006
Lecture VI: Seminar [1]. Seminar [3].
Fr, December 15, 2006
Lecture VII: Spontaneous symmetry breaking at finite temperature.
Seminar [5].
Wed, January 17, 2007
Supplement II: Non-abelian gauge fields.
Wed, January 31, 2007
Lecture VIII: Seminar [8].
Wed, February 28, 2007
Lecture IX: Seminar [2].
Quantum Boltzmann equations from the real time formalism.
Wed, March 28, 2007
Discussion of the problem set.

Interesting papers

[1] D. Notzold and G. Raffelt, ``Neutrino Dispersion at Finite Temperature and Density,'' Nucl. Phys. B 307, (1988) 924.

[2] H. A. Weldon, ``Dynamical Holes in the Quark - Gluon Plasma,'' Phys. Rev. D 40 (1989) 2410.

[3] S. R. Coleman, ``The Fate Of The False Vacuum. 1. Semiclassical Theory,'' Phys. Rev. D 15 (1977) 2929.

[4] A. D. Linde, ``Fate Of The False Vacuum At Finite Temperature: Theory And Applications,'' Phys. Lett. B 100 (1981) 37.

[5] A. D. Linde, ``A New Inflationary Universe Scenario: A Possible Solution Of The Horizon, Flatness, Homogeneity, Isotropy And Primordial Monopole Problems,'' Phys. Lett. B 108 (1982) 389.

[6] G. W. Anderson and L. J. Hall, ``The Electroweak Phase Transition And Baryogenesis,'' Phys. Rev. D 45 (1992) 2685.

[7] L. Dolan and R. Jackiw, ``Symmetry Behavior At Finite Temperature,'' Phys. Rev. D 9, 3320 (1974).

[8] G.F. Giudice, A. Notari, M. Raidal, A. Riotto, A. Strumia, ``Towards a complete theory of thermal leptogenesis in the SM and MSSM,'' Nucl. Phys.B 685:89-149 (2004).

Brief content of the course

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.


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.



This is a preliminary list of the content of the specific lectures:

Part I

Part II

Part III


The grading (P (pass) and F (fail)) will be based on hand in assignments.
Senast uppdaterad: 2008-11-28