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The Theory and Applications of Instanton Calculations
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Instantons, or pseudoparticles, are solutions to the equations of motion in classical field theories on a Euclidean spacetime. Instantons are found everywhere in quantum theories as they have many applications in quantum tunnelling. Diverse physical phenomena may be described through quantum tunnelling, for example: the Josephson effect, the decay of meta-stable nuclear states, band formation in tight binding models of crystalline solids, the structure of the gauge theory vacuum, confinement in 2+1 dimensions, and the decay of superheated or supercooled phases. Drawing inspiration from Sidney Coleman's Erice lectures, this volume provides an accessible, detailed introduction to instanton methods, with many applications, making it a valuable resource for graduate students in many areas of physics, from condensed matter, particle and nuclear physics, to string theory.

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  • 6 - Decay of the False Vacuum
    pp 71-110
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