Baryon Washout, Electroweak Phase Transition, and Perturbation Theory

Research paper by Hiren H. Patel, Michael J. Ramsey-Musolf

Indexed on: 15 Oct '15Published on: 15 Oct '15Published in: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology


We analyze the conventional perturbative treatment of sphaleron-induced baryon number washout relevant for electroweak baryogenesis and show that it is not gauge-independent due to the failure of consistently implementing the Nielsen identities order-by-order in perturbation theory. We provide a gauge-independent criterion for baryon number preservation in place of the conventional (gauge-dependent) criterion needed for successful electroweak baryogenesis. We also review the arguments leading to the preservation criterion and analyze several sources of theoretical uncertainties in obtaining a numerical bound. In various beyond the standard model scenarios, a realistic perturbative treatment will likely require knowledge of the complete two-loop finite temperature effective potential and the one-loop sphaleron rate.