We present a new perturbative formulation of non-equilibrium thermal field theory, based upon non-homogeneous free propagators and time-dependent vertices. The resulting time-dependent diagrammatic perturbation series are free of pinch singularities without the need for quasi-particle approximation or effective resummation of finite widths. After arriving at a physically meaningful definition of particle number densities, we derive master time evolution equations for statistical distribution functions, which are valid to all orders in perturbation theory and to all orders in a gradient expansion. For a scalar model, we perform a perturbative loopwise truncation of these evolution equations, whilst still capturing fast transient behaviour, which is found to be dominated by energy-violating processes, leading to the non-Markovian evolution of memory effects.
- Non-equilibrium thermal field theory
- Non-homogeneous backgrounds