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OKC - Theory Working Group

Conformally coupling scalars, decoherence and path integrals

by Christian Käding (University of Nottingham)

Nordita 132:028 ()

Nordita 132:028

Scalar fields have been interesting subjects for modifications of the Standard Model or General Relativity in recent years. For example, a commonly employed alteration of Einstein's theory of gravity is achieved by conformally coupling a scalar field to the metric tensor. Conformally coupling scalar fields are expected to cause a gravity-like fifth force of Nature and some have successfully been constrained in quantum experiments like atom interferometry. In this context it is important to understand open quantum dynamical effects like decoherence which can be induced by the presence of scalar fluctuations. Powerful field theoretical tools like the influence functional can be used for investigating such effects. However, their usage can be intricate if contact with experimental observables has to be made. I will introduce conformally coupling scalar fields and illustrate how a robust and practicable formalism based on the influence functional can be used to derive a single particle momentum subspace master equation which describes the open quantum dynamics induced by such fields.