Critical dynamics of symmetry breaking: Quenches, dissipation, and cosmology

  • Laguna P
  • Zurek W
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Symmetry-breaking phase transitions may leave behind topological defects \cite{Kibble} with a density dependent on the quench rate \cite{Zurek}. We investigate the dynamics of such quenches for the one-dimensional, Landau-Ginzburg case and show that the density of kinks, $n$, scales differently with the quench timescale, $\tau_Q$, depending on whether the dynamics in the vicinity of the critical point is overdamped ($n \propto \tau_Q^{-1/4}$) or underdamped ($n \propto \tau_Q^{-1/3}$). Either of these cases may be relevant to the early Universe, and we derive bounds on the initial density of topological defects in cosmological phase transitions.

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  • Pablo Laguna

  • Wojciech Hubert Zurek

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