Barnacles and gravity

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Theories with more than one vacuum allow quantum transitions between them, which may proceed via bubble nucleation; theories with more than two vacua posses additional decay modes in which the wall of a bubble may further decay. The instantons which mediate such a process have O(3) symmetry (in four dimensions, rather than the usual O(4) symmetry of homogeneous vacuum decay), and have been called ‘barnacles’; previously they have been studied in flat space, in the thin wall limit, and this paper extends the analysis to include gravity. It is found that there are regions of parameter space in which, given an initial bubble, barnacles are the favoured subsequent decay process, and that the inclusion of gravity can enlarge this region. The relation to other heterogeneous vacuum decay scenarios, as well as some of the phenomenological implications of barnacles are briefly discussed.

A preprint version of the article is available at ArXiv.


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ArXiv ePrint: 1705.09010

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Scargill, J.H. Barnacles and gravity. J. High Energ. Phys. 2017, 80 (2017).

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