Nonequilibrium Phenomena in Cosmology and Particle Physics

Coordinators: Juergen Berges, Lev Kofman, Laurence G. Yaffe

Nonequilibrium quantum field theory is needed to understand pressing topical phenomena in high-energy physics related to collisions of heavy nuclei ("Little Bangs'') and early universe cosmology ("Big Bang''). Out-of-equilibrium dynamics is an area which has seen substantially increased theoretical activity in recent years. High-energy particle physicists as well as cosmologists are starting to work with very similar techniques and sometimes even on the same underlying nonequilibrium phenomena. Very similar theoretical issues also arise in other areas, such as ultra-cold quantum gases.

This conference will focus on recent progress in understanding nonequilibrium QFT dynamics. Topics will include (but are not limited to):

  1. Thermalization and instabilities in non-Abelian plasmas.
  2. Strongly coupled nonequilibrium dynamics via gauge/string duality.
  3. Inflaton dynamics and post-inflationary reheating.
  4. Novel approximation techniques for nonequilibrium dynamics.

The goal of this conference is to bring together physicists working on diverse aspects and applications of nonequilibrium quantum field theory, in order to promote cross-fertilization between different areas and stimulate theoretical advances which can help to address the challenges posed by present-day experiments. The conference will take place during the KITP program on Nonequilibrium Dynamics in Particle Physics and Cosmology. We hope that the conference will generate fruitful questions and discussions which will be further pursued during the remainder of the program.