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The tunneling splitting of the energy levels of a ferromagnetic particle in the presence of an applied magnetic field - previously derived only for the ground state with the path integral method - is obtained in a simple way from Schr"odinger theory. The origin of the factors entering the result is clearly understood, in particular the effect of the asymmetry of the barriers of the potential. The method should appeal particularly to experimentalists searching for evidence of macroscopic spin tunneling.

Transitions from classical to quantum behaviour in a spin system with two degenerate ground states separated by twin energy barriers which are asymmetric due to an applied magnetic field are investigated. It is shown that these transitions can be interpreted as first- or second-order phase transitions depending on the anisotropy and magnetic parameters defining the system in an effective Lagrangian description.

Abstract: The calculation of absorption cross sections for minimal scalars in supergravity backgrounds is an important aspect of the investigation of AdS/CFT correspondence and requires a matching of appropriate wave functions. The low energy case has attracted particular attention. In the following the dependence of the cross section on the matching point is investigated. It is shown that the low energy limit is independent of the matching point and hence exhibits universality. In the high energy limit the independence is not maintained, but the result is believed to possess the correct energy dependence.

A pure Yang-Mills theory extended by addition of a quartic term is considered in order to study the transition from the quantum tunneling regime to that of classical, i.e. thermal, behaviour. The periodic field confiurations are found, which interpolate between the vacuum and sphaleron field configurations. It is shown by explicit calculation that only smooth second order transitions occur for all permissible values of the parameter A introduced with the quartic term. The theory is one of the rare cases which canbe handled analytically.

Abstract: The transition from the quantum to the classical regime of the nucleation of the closed Robertson-Walker Universe with spacially homogeneous matter fields is investigated with a perturbation expansion around the sphaleron configuration. A criterion is derived for the occurrence of a first-order type transition, and the related phase diagram for scalar and vector fields is obtained. For scalar fields both the first and second order transitions can occur depending on the shape of the potential barrier. For a vector field, here that of an O (3) nonlinear o-model, the transition is seen to be only of the first order. PACS numbers: 11.15.Kc, 03.65Sq, 05.70.Fh, 98.80.Cq

Abstract: A Born-Infeld theory describing a D2-brane coupled to a 4-form RR field strength is considered, and the general solutions of the static and Euclidean time equations are derived and discussed. The period of the bounce solutions is shown to allow a consideration of tunneling and quantum-classical transitions in the sphaleron region. The order of such transitions, depending on the strength of the RR field strength, is determined. A criterion is then derived to confirm these findings.

Abstract: The functional relation between interquark potential and interquark distance is explicitly derived by considering the Nambu-Goto action in the AdS5 X S 5 background. It is also shown that a similar relation holds in a general background. The implications of this relation for confinement are briefly discussed.

Abstract: The transition from the instanton-dominated quantum regime to the sphaleron-dominated classical regime is studied in the d = 2 abelian-Higgs model when the spatial coordinate is compactified to S1. Contrary to the noncompactified case, this model allows both sharp first-order and smooth second-order transitions depending on the size of the circle. This finding may make the model a useful toy model for the analysis of baryon number violating processes.