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Lecture Notes in Physics

Basics of Thermal Field Theory

A Tutorial on Perturbative Computations

Authors: Laine, Mikko, Vuorinen, Aleksi

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  • Concrete and self-contained style suitable for classroom or self-study, with the material divided into chapters that are directly usable as single lessons
  • Introduces the basic formalism, concepts, and applications of thermal field theory in the current era of precision cosmology and heavy-ion physics
  • Offers a detailed exposition of the derivations of the basic equations
  • Illustrates the developed formalism with selected examples from contemporary research in cosmology and heavy ion physics
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-31933-9
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Softcover $59.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-31932-2
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About this book

This book presents thermal field theory techniques, which can be applied in both cosmology and the theoretical description of the QCD plasma generated in heavy-ion collision experiments. It focuses on gauge interactions (whether weak or strong), which are essential in both contexts. As well as the many differences in the physics questions posed and in the microscopic forces playing a central role, the authors also explain the similarities and the techniques, such as the resummations, that are needed for developing a formally consistent perturbative expansion. The formalism is developed step by step, starting from quantum mechanics; introducing scalar, fermionic and gauge fields; describing the issues of infrared divergences; resummations and effective field theories; and incorporating systems with finite chemical potentials. With this machinery in place, the important class of real-time (dynamic) observables is treated in some detail. This is followed by an overview of a number of applications, ranging from the study of phase transitions and particle production rate computations, to the concept of transport and damping coefficients that play a ubiquitous role in current developments.

The book serves as a self-contained textbook on relativistic thermal field theory for undergraduate and graduate students of theoretical high-energy physics. 

About the authors

After obtaining a PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Helsinki, in 1994, Mikko Laine held postdoctoral positions at the University of Heidelberg, 1995 - 1997, and at the Theory Division at CERN, 1997 - 2003. For 2003 - 2012 he was a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Bielefeld; since 2012 he is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Bern.

Aleksi Vuorinen obtained his PhD in theoretical physics from the University of Helsinki in 2004, and thereafter worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, 2004-2007, the Technical University of Vienna, 2007, as well as the Theory Division of CERN, 2008-2009. From 2009 to 2013, he headed a Sofja Kovalevskaja research group at the University of Bielefeld, after which he returned to Helsinki, where he currently works as a research group leader at the Helsinki Institute of Physics.

Reviews

“It gives a very good introduction to perturbative finite-temperature quantum field theory. In particular, the derivations are very detailed, explaining carefully potential pitfalls other texts may just glance over. As such the book is also suitable for self-studies for researchers interested in thermal quantum field theory. … In summary, this book closes a gap between standard master-level university courses on (non-thermal) quantum field theory and current research in perturbative finite-temperature quantum field theory.” (Stefan Weinzierl, zbMATH 1356.81007, 2017)


Table of contents (9 chapters)

Table of contents (9 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $44.99
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-31933-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Softcover $59.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-31932-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Basics of Thermal Field Theory
Book Subtitle
A Tutorial on Perturbative Computations
Authors
Series Title
Lecture Notes in Physics
Series Volume
925
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing Switzerland
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-31933-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-31933-9
Softcover ISBN
978-3-319-31932-2
Series ISSN
0075-8450
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIV, 281
Number of Illustrations
51 b/w illustrations, 10 illustrations in colour
Topics