Local Temperature in Curved Spacetime

Detlev Buchholz, Jan Schlemmer
August 30, 2006
A physically meaningful local concept of temperature is introduced in quantum field theory on curved spacetime and applied to the example of a massless field on de Sitter space. It turns out in this model that the equilibrium (Gibbs) states which can be prepared by a geodesic observer have in general a varying temperature distribution in the neighborhood of the geodesic and may not even allow for a consistent thermal interpretation close to the horizon. This result, which can be traced back to the Unruh effect, illustrates the failure of a global notion of temperature in curved spacetime and reveals the need for a local concept, as presented here.
open access link Class.Quant.Grav.24:F25-F31,2007
@article{Buchholz:2006iv, author = "Buchholz, Detlev and Schlemmer, Jan", title = "{Local Temperature in Curved Spacetime}", journal = "Class. Quant. Grav.", volume = "24", year = "2007", pages = "F25-F31", doi = "10.1088/0264-9381/24/7/F01", eprint = "gr-qc/0608133", archivePrefix = "arXiv", primaryClass = "gr-qc", SLACcitation = "%%CITATION = GR-QC/0608133;%%" }

local thermal equilibrium, QFT on curved spacetimes, de Sitter spacetime