Modular Groups of Quantum Fields in Thermal States

Hans-J├╝rgen Borchers, Jakob Yngvason
May 15, 1998
For a quantum field in a thermal equilibrium state we discuss the group generated by time translations and the modular action associated with an algebra invariant under half-sided translations. The modular flows associated with the algebras of the forward light cone and a space-like wedge admit a simple geometric description in two dimensional models that factorize in light-cone coordinates. At large distances from the domain boundary compared to the inverse temperature the flow pattern is essentially the same as time translations, whereas the zero temperature results are approximately reproduced close to the edge of the wedge and the apex of the cone. Associated with each domain there is also a one parameter group with a positive generator, for which the thermal state is a ground state. Formally, this may be regarded as a certain converse of the Unruh-effect.

Keywords: 
thermal states, modular flow, low dimensional QFT