The Electroweak Phase Transition: A Non-Perturbative Analysis

Research paper by K. Kajantie, M. Laine, K. Rummukainen, M. Shaposhnikov

Indexed on: 12 Oct '95Published on: 12 Oct '95Published in: High Energy Physics - Lattice


We study on the lattice the 3d SU(2)+Higgs model, which is an effective theory of a large class of 4d high temperature gauge theories. Using the exact constant physics curve, continuum ($V\to\infty, a\to 0$) results for the properties of the phase transition (critical temperature, latent heat, interface tension) are given. The 3-loop correction to the effective potential of the scalar field is determined. The masses of scalar and vector excitations are determined and found to be larger in the symmetric than in the broken phase. The vector mass is considerably larger than the scalar one, which suggests a further simplification to a scalar effective theory at large Higgs masses. The use of consistent 1-loop relations between 3d parameters and 4d physics permits one to convert the 3d simulation results to quantitatively accurate numbers for different physical theories, such as the Standard Model -- excluding possible nonperturbative effects of the U(1) subgroup -- for Higgs masses up to about 70 GeV. The applications of our results to cosmology are discussed.