Black holes as bubble nucleation sites

  • Ruth Gregory
  • Ian G. MossEmail author
  • Benjamin Withers
Open Access


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.


Cosmology of Theories beyond the SM Black Holes Solitons Monopoles and Instantons 


Open Access

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Gregory
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ian G. Moss
    • 3
    Email author
  • Benjamin Withers
    • 1
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Mathematical Sciences and Centre for Particle TheoryDurhamU.K.
  2. 2.Perimeter InstituteWaterlooCanada
  3. 3.School of Mathematics and StatisticsNewcastle UniversityNewcastle Upon TyneU.K.
  4. 4.Mathematical Sciences and STAG research centreUniversity of SouthamptonSouthamptonU.K.

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