@MISC{Arnold97uw/pt-97-2hot, author = {Peter Arnold}, title = {UW/PT-97-2 Hot B violation, the lattice, and hard thermal loops}, year = {1997} }

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Abstract

It has recently been argued that the rate per unit volume of baryon number violation (topological transitions) in the hot, symmetric phase of electroweak theory is of the form η α5 wT 4 in the weak-coupling limit, where η is a nonperturbative numerical coefficient. Over the past several years, there have been attempts to extract the rate of baryon number violation from real-time simulations of classical thermal field theory on a spatial lattice. Unfortunately, the coefficient η will not be the same for classical lattice theories and the real quantum theory. However, by analyzing the appropriate effective theory on the lattice using the method of hard thermal loops, I show that the only obstruction to precisely relating the rates in the real and lattice theories is the fact that the long-distance physics on the lattice is not rotationally invariant. (This is unlike Euclidean-time measurements, where rotational invariance is always recovered in the continuum limit.) I then propose how this violation of rotational invariance can be eliminated—and the real B violation rate measured—by choosing an appropriate lattice Hamiltonian. I also propose a rough measure of the systematic error to be expected from using simpler, unimproved Hamiltonians. As a byproduct of my investigation, the plasma frequency and Debye mass are computed for classical thermal field theory on the lattice. 1 I.