Far-from-equilibrium kinetic dynamics of λφ4 theory in an expanding universe

Nicki Mullins, Gabriel S. Denicol, Jorge Noronha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate the far-from-equilibrium behavior of the Boltzmann equation for a gas of massless scalar field particles with quartic (tree level) self-interactions (λφ4) in Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker spacetime. Using a new covariant generating function for the moments of the Boltzmann distribution function, we analytically determine a subset of the spectrum and the corresponding eigenfunctions of the linearized Boltzmann collision operator. We show how the covariant generating function can be also used to find the exact equations for the moments in the full nonlinear regime. Different than the case of a ultrarelativistic gas of hard spheres (where the total cross section is constant), for λφ4 the fact that the cross section decreases with energy implies that moments of arbitrarily high order directly couple to low order moments. Numerical solutions for the scalar field case are presented and compared to those found for a gas of hard spheres.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number056024
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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