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Publication# Systematic approach to thermal leptogenesis

Abstract

In this work we study thermal leptogenesis using nonequilibrium quantum field theory. Starting from fundamental equations for correlators of the quantum fields we describe the steps necessary to obtain quantum-kinetic equations for quasiparticles. These can easily be compared to conventional results and overcome conceptional problems inherent in the canonical approach. Beyond CP-violating decays we include also those scattering processes which are tightly related to the decays in a consistent approximation of fourth order in the Yukawa couplings. It is demonstrated explicitly how the S-matrix elements for the scattering processes in the conventional approach are related to two-and three-loop contributions to the effective action. We derive effective decay and scattering amplitudes taking medium corrections and thermal masses into account. In this context we also investigate CP-violating Higgs decay within the same formalism. From the kinetic equations we derive rate equations for the lepton asymmetry improved in that they include quantum-statistical effects and medium corrections to the quasiparticle properties. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.87.085009

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Quantum field theory

In theoretical physics, quantum field theory (QFT) is a theoretical framework that combines classical field theory, special relativity, and quantum mechanics. QFT is used in particle physics to construct physical models of subatomic particles and in condensed matter physics to construct models of quasiparticles. QFT treats particles as excited states (also called quanta) of their underlying quantum fields, which are more fundamental than the particles.

CP violation

In particle physics, CP violation is a violation of CP-symmetry (or charge conjugation parity symmetry): the combination of C-symmetry (charge symmetry) and P-symmetry (parity symmetry). CP-symmetry states that the laws of physics should be the same if a particle is interchanged with its antiparticle (C-symmetry) while its spatial coordinates are inverted ("mirror" or P-symmetry). The discovery of CP violation in 1964 in the decays of neutral kaons resulted in the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1980 for its discoverers James Cronin and Val Fitch.

Scattering

Scattering is a term used in physics to describe a wide range of physical processes where moving particles or radiation of some form, such as light or sound, are forced to deviate from a straight trajectory by localized non-uniformities (including particles and radiation) in the medium through which they pass. In conventional use, this also includes deviation of reflected radiation from the angle predicted by the law of reflection.

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