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Influence functionals, decoherence and conformally coupled scalars



P Millington



Some of the simplest modifications to general relativity involve the coupling of additional scalar fields to the scalar curvature. By making a Weyl rescaling of the metric, these theories can be mapped to Einstein gravity with the additional scalar fields instead being coupled universally to matter. The resulting couplings to matter give rise to scalar fifth forces, which can evade the stringent constraints from local tests of gravity by means of so-called screening mechanisms. In this talk, we derive evolution equations for the matrix elements of the reduced density operator of a toy matter sector by means of the Feynman-Vernon influence functional. In particular, we employ a novel approach akin to the LSZ reduction more familiar to scattering-matrix theory. The resulting equations allow the analysis, for instance, of decoherence induced in atom-interferometry experiments by these classes of modified theories of gravity.


Burrage, C., Käding, C., Millington, P., & Minář, J. (2019). Influence functionals, decoherence and conformally coupled scalars. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, 1275(1), Article 012041.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 29, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 17, 2019
Publication Date 2019-09
Deposit Date Sep 19, 2019
Publicly Available Date Sep 20, 2019
Journal Journal of Physics: Conference Series
Print ISSN 1742-6588
Electronic ISSN 1742-6596
Publisher IOP Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 1275
Issue 1
Article Number 012041
Keywords General Physics and Astronomy
Public URL
Publisher URL


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