We investigate the role played by subcritical bubbles at the onset of the electroweak phase transition. Treating the configuration modelling the thermal fluctuations around the homogeneous zero configuration of the Higgs field as a stochastic variable, we describe its dynamics by a phenomenological Langevin equation. This approach allows to properly take into account both the effects of the thermal bath on the system: a systematic dissipative force, which tends to erase out any initial subcritical configuration, and a random stochastic force responsible for the fluctuations. We show that the contribution to the variance ≪2≫ν in a given volume V from any initial subcritical configuration is quickly damped away and that, in the limit of long times, ≪2(t)≫ν approaches its equilibrium value provided by the stochastic force and independent from the viscosity coefficient, as predicted by the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. In agreement with some recent claims, we conclude that thermal fluctuations do not affect the nucleation of critical bubbles at the onset of the electroweak phase transition making electroweak baryogenesis scenarios still a viable possibility to explain the primordial baryon asymmetry in the Universe.

A stochastic approach to thermal fluctuations during a first order electroweak phase transition

ILLUMINATI, Fabrizio;
1996

Abstract

We investigate the role played by subcritical bubbles at the onset of the electroweak phase transition. Treating the configuration modelling the thermal fluctuations around the homogeneous zero configuration of the Higgs field as a stochastic variable, we describe its dynamics by a phenomenological Langevin equation. This approach allows to properly take into account both the effects of the thermal bath on the system: a systematic dissipative force, which tends to erase out any initial subcritical configuration, and a random stochastic force responsible for the fluctuations. We show that the contribution to the variance ≪2≫ν in a given volume V from any initial subcritical configuration is quickly damped away and that, in the limit of long times, ≪2(t)≫ν approaches its equilibrium value provided by the stochastic force and independent from the viscosity coefficient, as predicted by the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. In agreement with some recent claims, we conclude that thermal fluctuations do not affect the nucleation of critical bubbles at the onset of the electroweak phase transition making electroweak baryogenesis scenarios still a viable possibility to explain the primordial baryon asymmetry in the Universe.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3312680
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