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Publication# Non-perturbative processes with Fermion number non-conservation in different models of particle physics

Résumé

When a classical conservation law is broken by quantum corrections, the associated symmetry is said to be anomalous. This type of symmetry breaking can lead to interesting physics. For instance in strong interactions, the anomaly in the chiral current is important in the pion decay to two photons. In weak interactions, there is an anomaly in the baryon number current. Although anomalous baryon number violating transitions are strongly suppressed at small energies, they could be at the origin of the baryon asymmetry of the universe. In this thesis, we consider several issues related to the theoretical and phenomenological aspects of anomalies. Although our main aim is the study of the electroweak theory, most of the theoretical questions do not rely on its precise setup. In order to solve these problems, we design a 1+1 dimensional chiral Abelian Higgs model displaying similar nonperturbative physics as the electroweak theory and leading to many simplifications. This model contains sphaleron and instanton transitions and, as the electroweak theory, leads to anomalous fermion number nonconservation. The one-loop fermionic contribution to the probability of an instanton transition with fermion number violation is calculated in the chiral Abelian Higgs model where the fermions have a Yukawa coupling to the scalar field. These contributions are given by the determinant of the fermionic fluctuations. The dependence of the determinant on fermionic, scalar and vector mass is determined. We also show in detail how to renormalize the fermionic determinant in partial wave analysis. The 1+1 dimensional model has the remarkable property to enable the creation of an odd number of fractionally charged fermions. We point out that for 1+1 dimensions this process does not violate any symmetries of the theory, nor does it lead to any mathematical inconsistencies. We construct the proper definition of the fermionic determinant in this model and underline its non-trivial features that are of importance for realistic 3+1 dimensional models with fermion number violation. In theories with anomalous fermion number nonconservation, the level crossing picture is considered a faithful representation of the fermionic quantum number variation. It represents each created fermion by an energy level that crosses the zero-energy line from below. If several fermions of various masses are created, the level crossing picture contains several levels that cross the zero-energy line and cross each other. However, we know from quantum mechanics that the corresponding levels cannot cross if the different fermions are mixed via some interaction potential. The simultaneous application of these two requirements on the level behavior leads to paradoxes. For instance, a naive interpretation of the resulting level crossing picture gives rise to charge nonconservation. We resolve this paradox by a precise calculation of the transition probability, and discuss what are the implications for the electroweak theory. In particular, the nonperturbative transition probability is higher if top quarks are present in the initial state. Coming back to the electroweak theory, we point out that the results of many baryogenesis scenarios operating at or below the TeV scale are rather sensitive to the rate of anomalous fermion number violation across the electroweak crossover. Assuming the validity of the Standard Model of electroweak interactions, we estimate this rate for experimentally allowed values of the Higgs mass (mH = 100…300 GeV). We also discuss where the rate enters in the particle density evolution and how to compute the leading baryonic asymmetry.

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Currently, the best theoretical description of fundamental matter and its gravitational interaction is given by the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics and Einstein's theory of General Relativity (GR). These theories contain a number of seemingly unrelated scales. While Newton's gravitational constant and the mass of the Higgs boson are parameters in the classical action, the masses of other elementary particles are due to the electroweak symmetry breaking. Yet other scales, like ΛQCD associated to the strong interaction, only appear after the quantization of the theory. We reevaluate the idea that the fundamental theory of nature may contain no fixed scales and that all observed scales could have a common origin in the spontaneous break-down of exact scale invariance. To this end, we consider a few minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, focusing especially on their cosmological phenomenology. In the simplest considered model, scale invariance is achieved through the introduction of a dilaton field. We find that for a large class of potentials, scale invariance is spontaneously broken, leading to induced scales at the classical level. The dilaton is exactly massless and practically decouples from all SM fields. The dynamical break-down of scale invariance automatically provides a mechanism for inflation. Despite exact scale invariance, the theory generally contains a cosmological constant, or, put in other words, flat spacetime need not be a solution. We next replace standard gravity by Unimodular Gravity (UG). This results in the appearance of an arbitrary integration constant in the equations of motion, inducing a run-away potential for the dilaton. As a consequence, the dilaton can play the role of a dynamical dark-energy component. The cosmological phenomenology of the model combining scale invariance and unimodular gravity is studied in detail. We find that the equation of state of the dilaton condensate has to be very close to the one of a cosmological constant. If the spacetime symmetry group of the gravitational action is reduced from the group of all diffeomorphisms (Diff) to the subgroup of transverse diffeomorphisms (TDiff), the metric in general contains a propagating scalar degree of freedom. We show that the replacement of Diff by TDiff makes it possible to construct a scale-invariant theory of gravity and particle physics in which the dilaton appears as a part of the metric. We find the conditions under which such a theory is a viable description of particle physics and in particular reproduces the SM phenomenology. The minimal theory with scale invariance and UG is found to be a particular case of a theory with scale and TDiff invariance. Moreover, cosmological solutions in models based on scale and TDiff invariance turn out to generically be similar to the solutions of the model with UG. In usual quantum field theories, scale invariance is anomalous. This might suggest that results based on classical scale invariance are necessarily spoiled by quantum corrections. We show that this conclusion is not true. Namely, we propose a new renormalization scheme which allows to construct a class of quantum field theories that are scale-invariant to all orders of perturbation theory and where the scale symmetry is spontaneously broken. In this type of theory, all scales, including those related to dimensional transmutation, like ΛQCD, appear as a consequence of the spontaneous break-down of the scale symmetry. The proposed theories are not renormalizable. Nonetheless, they are valid effective theories below a field-dependent cut-off scale. If the scale-invariant renormalization scheme is applied to the presented minimal scale-invariant extensions of GR and the SM, the goal of having a common origin of all scales, spontaneous breaking of scale invariance, is achieved.

The one-loop fermionic contribution to the probability of an instanton transition with fermion number violation is calculated in the chiral Abelian Higgs model in 1+1 dimensions, where the fermions have a Yukawa coupling to the scalar field. The dependence of the determinant on fermionic, scalar, and vector mass is determined. We show in detail how to renormalize the fermionic determinant in partial wave analysis, which is convenient for computations. © 2005 The American Physical Society.

2005Solitons are stable, non-singular solutions to the classical equations of motion of non-linear field theory. Their energy is localized and finite and their shape remains unaltered during propagation. For this reason they represent particle-like states in field theory. Their mass and their size can be very large compared to those of the elementary particles in the theory. Therefore, a soliton can be viewed as a single particle-like object containing a large number of individual particles. The chiral Abelian Higgs model contains an interesting class of non-topological solitons, that carry a non-zero fermion number NF or Chern-Simons number NCS, which is the same because of the chiral anomaly. They consist of a bosonic configuration of gauge and Higgs fields characterized by NCS and are stable for sufficiently large NCS. In the first part of this thesis we study the properties of these anomalous solitons. We find that their energy-versus-fermion-number ratio is given by E ∼ NCS3/4 or E ∼ NCS2/3 depending on the structure of the scalar potential. For the former case we prove, using some inequalities from functional analysis, that there is a lower bound on the soliton energy, which reads E ≥ c NCS3/4 , where c is some parameter expressed through the masses and coupling constants of the theory. We construct the anomalous solitons numerically for two different choices for the potential accounting both for Higgs and gauge dynamics. Solutions are obtained as a function of NCS and the Higgs mass mH and we find that they are not spherically symmetric. In addition, we outline a relation between the structure of anomalous Abelian solitons and the intermediate state observed in type-I superconductors in external magnetic fields. In the limit of large NCS anomalous solitons can be described in the thin wall approximation, which allows us to remove the Higgs field from consideration. For absolute stability of anomalous solitons, it is essential that the gauge group is Abelian. If the gauge group is non-Abelian, fermions can always be converted to a gauge vacuum configuration with an arbitrary integer NCS. Therefore, if anomalous non-Abelian solitons exist, they could only be metastable. Interestingly, anomalous solitons can potentially exist in the electroweak theory, because this theory contains all necessary ingredients, namely chiral fermions and an Abelian gauge symmetry. In the second part of this thesis we investigate this possibility. Using the numerical solutions for anomalous Abelian solitons as a starting point, we construct the corresponding numerical solutions in electroweak theory. These solutions have a similar structure as the Abelian solitons with the Abelian gauge field replaced by the Z boson field. The charged boson fields W± vanish identically. However, for weak mixing angle θω > 0, the solutions have an associated magnetic field as well, that can be characterized by a magnetic dipole moment mem. Furthermore, the shape of the solutions and the structure of the gauge fields depend on θω. In the last part of this work we analyze the classical stability of the numerical solutions in the electroweak case. It is clear that the solutions are stable in the semilocal limit sin θω → 1, where the Abelian case is reproduced exactly. For arbitrary θω, we consider perturbations in the Higgs field and in the gauge fields Z and A and show that the solutions are stable with respect to these perturbations. For small θω however, the solutions are unstable with respect to the formation of a condensate of charged boson fields W± in the centre of the solution. This W-condensation instability is essentially the same, which also destabilizes the Z-string solution of electroweak theory.