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Black holes as bubble nucleation sites

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian Moss



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We consider the effect of inhomogeneities on the rate of false vacuum decay. Modelling the inhomogeneity by a black hole, we construct explicit Euclidean instantons which describe the nucleation of a bubble of true vacuum centred on the inhomogeneity. We find that inhomogeneity significantly enhances the nucleation rate over that of the Coleman-de Luccia instanton - the black hole acts as a nucleation site for the bubble. The effect is larger than previously believed due to the contributions to the action from conical singularities. For a sufficiently low initial mass, the original black hole is replaced by flat space during this process, as viewed by a single causal patch observer. Increasing the initial mass, we find a critical value above which a black hole remnant survives the process. This resulting black hole can have a higher mass than the original black hole, but always has a lower entropy. We compare the process to bubble-to-bubble transitions, where there is a semi-classical Lorentzian description in the WKB approximation.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gregory R, Moss IG, Withers B

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of High Energy Physics

Year: 2014

Volume: 2014

Issue: 3

Print publication date: 17/03/2014

Online publication date: 17/03/2014

Acceptance date: 19/02/2014

Date deposited: 23/05/2014

ISSN (electronic): 1029-8479

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1007/JHEP03(2014)081

Notes: ARTN 081


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