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Gravity and the Stability of the Higgs Vacuum

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Ian MossORCiD



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


We discuss the effect of gravitational interactions on the lifetime of the Higgs vacuum where generic quantum gravity corrections are taken into account. Using a "thin-wall" approximation, we provide a proof of principle that small black holes can act as seeds for vacuum decay, spontaneously nucleating a new Higgs phase centered on the black hole with a lifetime measured in millions of Planck times rather than billions of years. The corresponding parameter space constraints are, however, extremely stringent; therefore, we also present numerical evidence suggesting that with thick walls, the parameter space may open up. Implications for collider black holes are discussed.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burda P, Gregory R, Moss IG

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Year: 2015

Volume: 115

Issue: 7

Print publication date: 14/08/2015

Online publication date: 13/08/2015

Acceptance date: 17/07/2015

Date deposited: 19/01/2016

ISSN (print): 0031-9007

ISSN (electronic): 1079-7114

Publisher: American Physical Society


DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.071303

Notes: arXiv:1501.04937v2 green open access


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Funder referenceFunder name
Government of Canada through Industry Canada
Royal Society
Wolfson Foundation
EPSRC International Doctoral Scholarship
Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Province of Ontario through the Ministry of Research and Innovation