Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Black holes as bubble nucleation sites

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian MossORCiD



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


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Funder referenceFunder name
Government of Canada through Industry Canada
Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Wolfson Foundation
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation
Royal Society