On the quantum stability of Q-balls
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We consider the evolution and decay of Q-balls under the influence of quantum fluctuations. We argue that the most important effect resulting from these fluctuations is the modification of the effective potential in which the Q-ball evolves. This is in addition to spontaneous decay into elementary particle excitations and fission into smaller Q-balls previously considered in the literature, which — like most tunnelling processes — are likely to be strongly suppressed. We illustrate the effect of quantum fluctuations in a particular model ϕ 6 potential, for which we implement the inhomogeneous Hartree approximation to quantum dynamics and solve for the evolution of Q-balls in 3 + 1 dimensions. We find that the stability range as a function of (field space) angular velocity ω is modified significantly compared to the classical case, so that small-ω Q-balls are less stable than in the classical limit, and large-ω Q-balls are more stable. This can be understood qualitatively in a simple way.
KeywordsSolitons Monopoles and Instantons Lattice Quantum Field Theory
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