Real scalar phase transitions : a nonperturbative analysis

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Gould , O 2021 , ' Real scalar phase transitions : a nonperturbative analysis ' , Journal of High Energy Physics , no. 4 , 057 .

Title: Real scalar phase transitions : a nonperturbative analysis
Author: Gould, Oliver
Contributor organization: Helsinki Institute of Physics
Date: 2021-04-07
Language: eng
Number of pages: 50
Belongs to series: Journal of High Energy Physics
ISSN: 1029-8479
Abstract: We study the thermal phase transitions of a generic real scalar field, without a Z(2)-symmetry, referred to variously as an inert, sterile or singlet scalar, or phi(3) + phi(4) theory. Such a scalar field arises in a wide range of models, including as the inflaton, or as a portal to the dark sector. At high temperatures, we perform dimensional reduction, matching to an effective theory in three dimensions, which we then study both perturbatively to three-loop order and on the lattice. For strong first-order transitions, with large tree-level cubic couplings, our lattice Monte-Carlo simulations agree with perturbation theory within error. However, as the size of the cubic coupling decreases, relative to the quartic coupling, perturbation theory becomes less and less reliable, breaking down completely in the approach to the Z(2)-symmetric limit, in which the transition is of second order. Notwithstanding, the renormalisation group is shown to significantly extend the validity of perturbation theory. Throughout, our calculations are made as explicit as possible so that this article may serve as a guide for similar calculations in other theories.
Subject: 114 Physical sciences
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: publishedVersion

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