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Durham University

Department of Mathematical Sciences

Academic Staff

Publication details for Ruth Gregory

Ruth Gregory & Ian Moss (2016), The Fate of the Higgs Vacuum, Proceedings of Science 2016: 38th International Conference on High Energy Physics (ICHEP2016). Chicago, USA, SISSA, 344.

Author(s) from Durham


This talk reviews our recent work showing how tiny black holes can act as nucleation sites for the
decay of the metastable Higgs vacuum [1, 2, 3, 4]. We start by discussing the formation of thin
wall bubbles of true vacuum inside a false vacuum, and show how adding a black hole lowers
the action of the Euclidean tunneling solution, thus strongly enhancing the probability of vacuum
decay. We then review numerical results for the Higgs vacuum showing that the decay rate is
even higher for these “thick wall” bubbles. The results imply either tiny black holes are not a
component of our universe, or BSM corrections to the Higgs potential must stabilise our vacuum.