Aspects of the cosmological electroweak phase transition

D. Bödeker, W. Buchmüller, Z. Fodor, T. Helbig

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37 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We study the decay of the metastable symmetric phase in the standard model at finite temperature. For the SU(2)-Higgs model the two wave function correction terms Zφ{symbol}(φ{symbol}2, T) and Zx(φ{symbol}2, T) of Higgs and Goldstone boson fields are calculated to one-loop order. We find that the derivative expansion of the effective action is reliable for Higgs masses smaller than the W-boson mass. We propose a new procedure to evaluate the decay rate by first integrating out the vector field and the components of the scalar fields with non-zero Matsubara frequencies. The static part of the scalar field is treated in the saddle point approximation. As a by-product we obtain a formula for the decay rate of a homogeneous unstable state. The course of the cosmological electroweak phase transition is evaluated numerically for different Higgs boson masses and non-vanishing magnetic mass of the gauge boson. For Higgs masses above ∼ 60 GeV the latent heat can reheat the system to the critical temperature, which qualitatively changes the nature of the transition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-196
Number of pages26
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Volume423
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 18 1994

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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