Status of rates and rate equations for thermal leptogenesis

S Biondini, Dietrich Bödeker, Nora Brambilla, Mathias Garny, Jacopo Ghiglieri, Andreas Hohenegger, M Laine, S Mendizabal, P Millington, Alberto Salvio, Antonio Vairo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In many realizations of leptogenesis, heavy right-handed neutrinos play the main role in the generation of an imbalance between matter and antimatter in the early Universe. Hence, it is relevant to address quantitatively their dynamics in a hot and dense environment by taking into account the various thermal aspects of the problem at hand. The strong washout regime offers an interesting framework to carry out calculations systematically and reduce theoretical uncertainties. Indeed, any matter–antimatter asymmetry generated when the temperature of the hot plasma T exceeds the right-handed neutrino mass scale M
is efficiently erased, and one can focus on the temperature window T≪M. We review recent progress in the thermal field theoretic derivation of the key ingredients for the leptogenesis mechanism: the right-handed neutrino production rate, the CP asymmetry in the heavy-neutrino decays and the washout rates. The derivation of evolution equations for the heavy-neutrino and lepton-asymmetry number densities, their rigorous formulation and applicability are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1842004
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Modern Physics A
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2018


  • Thermal field theory
  • Effective field theories
  • Nonequilibrium quantum field theory


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