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Conformally coupling scalars, decoherence and path integrals
(University of Nottingham)
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.