Vacuum Bubble Instantons
In these remarks, we discuss the existence of certain instanton solutions occurring in both non-gauge and gauge field theories. They are not associated with the mapping of a non-Abelian gauge group on S3, have no conserved topological charge and are hence unstable. They provide probably the principal decay mechanism of an unstable vacuum and standard instanton methods2–4 can be exploited to estimate such a vacuum decay lifetime.
KeywordsTopological Charge Gauge Field Theory Metastable Vacuum Physical Vacuum Instanton Solution
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- 5.Since the bubble is created with Pμ =0, its momentum is the same in all Lorentz frames; to put the same statement differently, the bubble expanding at the speed of light appears spherical to all observers. Thus no momentum can be associated with the bubble and no (divergent) phase space integral is necessary here. This point was first made clear to me in the discussion following my seminar at SLAC, November 1976.Google Scholar
- 6.It is here assumed that non-spherical instantons, necessarily having larger classical action, may be safely neglected.Google Scholar
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