Quantum and thermal fluctuations in quantum mechanics and field theories from a new version of semiclassical theory

Research paper by M. A. Escobar-Ruiz, E. Shuryak, A. V. Turbiner

Indexed on: 19 May '16Published on: 19 May '16Published in: High Energy Physics - Theory


We develop a new semiclassical approach, which starts with the density matrix given by the Euclidean time path integral with fixed coinciding endpoints, and proceed by identifying classical (minimal Euclidean action) path, to be referred to as {\it flucton}, which passes through this endpoint. Fluctuations around flucton path are included, by standard Feynman diagrams, previously developed for instantons. We calculate the Green function and evaluate the one loop determinant both by direct diagonalization of the fluctuation equation, and also via the trick with the Green functions. The two-loop corrections are evaluated by explicit Feynman diagrams, and some curious cancellation of logarithmic and polylog terms is observed. The results are fully consistent with large-distance asymptotics obtained in quantum mechanics. Two classic examples -- quartic double-well and sine-Gordon potentials -- are discussed in detail, while power-like potential and quartic anharmonic oscillator are discussed in brief. Unlike other semiclassical methods, like WKB, we do not use the Schr\"{o}dinger equation, and all the steps generalize to multi-dimensional or quantum fields cases straightforwardly.