Maths HEP Lunchtime Seminars: Vacuum Decay by Topological Solitons
5 June 2015 13:00 in CM221
We study the decay of the false vacuum mediated by meta-stable topological
solitons. The symmetry broken vacuum is unstable to decay to the symmetry
preserving vacuum via quantum tunnelling, but usually the rate of decay is
very small. However, the existence of topological solitons can
significantly enhance the disintegration rate. We consider monopoles,
vortices and domain walls. Such solitons have an interior region where the
symmetry is unbroken and an exterior region where the symmetry is broken.
Normally, the interior region is energetically unstable while the symmetry
broken exterior is stable. In the present case, these roles are reversed.
We show how classically stable topological solitons could arise in this
situation, and we show how to compute their decay through quantum
tunnelling. The decay of the solitons of course provokes the decay of the
entire false vacuum.